Vodafone CR petitions CTU to stop LTE auction

12 Jun 2013

The Prague Daily Monitor writes that the Czech Republic’s national regulator, the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU), has received a request to stop its plans to auction 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile licences whilst simultaneous measures are underway to regulate the cellular market. Vodafone CR spokesman Richard Stonavsky is quoted as saying that it is unreasonable for firms to bid on the new frequencies for ultra-high speed mobile services in an industry where the market regulation rules are in a state of flux. Mr Stonavsky went as far to say that the contrary impact of the two separate strands of the CTU’s policy could amount to ‘billions of crowns’ and as such, it is ready to seek legal recourse through the courts to prevent the auction going ahead.

Along with Vodafone, the Czech Republic’s two other incumbent cellcos – T-Mobile CR and Telefonica O2 CR – have openly criticised the terms and conditions for the 4G tender. For its part Vodafone is against a plan to ring-fence most of the more lucrative 800MHz band for a new market entrant, and opposes the CTU’s wish to impose a set limit on how many 800MHz/900MHz frequencies a company can hold.

The head of the CTU, Jaromir Novak, has confirmed receipt of the incumbents’ various objections and says that the agency will be reviewing feedback ahead of the publication of its findings on 24 June.

In an unrelated development, Vodafone has teamed up with Quadruple, a group set up by a number of cable operators, to allow the latter to launch the country’s third mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the country. Quadruple hopes to kick start its new service in the next three weeks, targeting its existing customers with a range of Q-CZ branded products. According to Quadruple chairman Premysl Klima the newcomer has developed a number of tailored packages, including cable television, internet, fixed and mobile telephony services.

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