Albania’s regulator, the Autoriteti i Komunikimeve Elektronike dhe Postare (AKEP) has launched a public consultation to reduce SMS tariffs over the next two years. The watchdog’s decision to begin the process followed a decline in SMS use in the country. Whilst SMS use grew steadily between 2003 and 2009, it began to dip in 2009-2010, and AKEP is attempting to prevent any further decline. Albania’s SMS services are slightly higher than others in the region, costing between ALL10 and ALL14 (USD0.09-USD0.14) compared to USD0.07 in Croatia, or USD0.05 in Montenegro. AKEP hopes to reduce the tariffs to an acceptable level by 2013.
AKEP also announced the details of its 3G mbobile licence tender. The tender is for 2×15MHz paired spectrum (1935MHz-1950MHz paired with 2125MHz–2140MHz) and 5MHz in the 1905MHz-1910MHz band. The minimum price was set at EUR12.5 million, and bidding closes 5 September 2011. The tender also stipulates that the successful bidder must cover 85% of territory 18 months after closing the deal.