The Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) plans to contact up to 50 potential bidders to canvass interest in its forthcoming auction of mobile spectrum suitable for the deployment of fourth-generation services in the country. Reuters reports the Hospodarske Noviny newspaper as saying that the CTU hopes the move may also help to entice a new operator to enter the Czech mobile market.
The Czech Republic hopes to raise a minimum CZK9.2 billion (USD494 million) for state coffers through the auctioning off of additional mobile frequencies. The national regulator is looking to sell blocks of spectrum in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands to allow the incumbent mobile operators to develop 4G networks in the Republic, and possibly allow for a new entrant to launch in the market. The Czech mobile sector is currently divided between three players – Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile CR and Vodafone’s local unit. The frequencies on offer can be purchased by the existing cellcos in order to add 4G services to their service portfolios. The 1800MHz band is reserved for a possible new entrant.