Czech national regulator the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) announced yesterday that it has approved all five bidders’ applications to take part in the upcoming auction of next generation mobile frequency licences in the country. The CTU, which is looking to relaunch the sale of 4G-suitable spectrum on 11 November, said it has approved the bids of the three incumbents – Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile Czech Republic and Vodafone Czech Republic – as well as two from would-be new entrants, Revolution Mobile AS, a former unit of Czech financial group PPF; and unknown quantity, Czech-owned Sazka Telecommunications (formerly known as Tasciane AS).
The revised auction of Long Term Evolution (LTE) licences is expected to raise up to CZK8.72 billion (USD457 million) for the government, which is striving to boost competition and services in the local market. The first attempt to allocate 4G licences was called off in March this year after the reserve price climbed so high it was feared that it would risk inflating the price of the services and delaying launch. The terms and conditions of the revamped tender also mandates reserving a spectrum block in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands for a new entrant to help boost competitiveness in the market. The 4G mobile frequencies auction faces challenges against some of the conditions set out by the CTU, including the stipulation to reserve frequencies for a new entrant – which has angered the incumbents.