Mobtel restores its illegal network in Kosovo

Prishtinë, Jan 17, 2006 – The President of the Board of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Kosovo (TRA), Anton Berisha, confirmed last week that the Serbian operator “Mobtel” has reorganized itself to increase its activities in antennas placed near the boundaries with Kosovo and in several enclaves within Kosovo.

“Theoretically the TRA can remove all antennas from the Kosovo territory, but there can always be interferences by operators in countries surrounding Kosovo,” said Berisha. “None of the states around Kosovo are respecting international norms, hence the Kosovo Government and UNMIK must raise this issue with these counties and use international mechanisms to make these countries accord with the norms.”

At the same time as the TRA proceeds with the disconnection of “Mobtel” antennas, the same operator has strengthened its grid in Prishtina through the antennas close to the border, with the help of Minister of Returns and Communities, Slavisa Petkovic.

“I requested from relevant Kosovo authorities to enable the strengthening of transmission antennas of the 063 band (Mobtel). As a result, we have network in some enclaves around Prishtina and in the town”, admitted Minsiter Petkovic for the Kosovar media.

He justified his initiative on the grounds that making citizens change their 063 numbers to 044 (Vala 900) is to expensive.

“Mobtel was disconnected for political reasons, and the disconnection should be done collectively, not selectively. I am against illegal operators in Kosovo. Apart from Mobtel, there are Telekom Srbija, Pro Monte, Vodafone, Mobimak, but only Mobtel suffers from the measures of the disconnection”, said Minister Petkovic.

However nobody from the Kosovo Government, the UNMIK administration, or Pillar IV confirmed the receipt of such a request from Minister Petkovic.