The Moldovan watchdog, the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI), has granted three technology-neutral authorisations to domestic cellco Moldcell. The operator paid a total of MDL25.5 million (USD15.16 million) for 2×10MHz in the 800MHz band, 2×10MHz in the 900MHz band, and 2×25MHz in the 1800MHz band. In a press release, the regulator noted that the decision was taken in accordance with a spectrum management programme for 2013-2020, under which the expiration date of all mobile licences issued to network providers operating in the Republic should be synchronised. The regulator decided to initiate the synchronisation process in order to ensure fair competition in the market, and to create the necessary conditions for the implementation of technology neutrality. ANRCETI director Gregory Varane said that the new authorisations provide Moldcell with additional spectrum, which in turn will allow the operator to develop its networks. Due to better wave propagation in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands, the newly acquired frequency spectrum will enable Moldcell to develop lower cost 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services and extend its coverage.
ANCETI noted that the remaining two licences – 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band and 2×25MHz in the 1800MHz spectrum bands – will be issued to cellco Moldtelecom (Unite), once all the relevant fees have been paid by the operator; Moldtelecom has a deadline of 25 August to pay the levies.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 1 August incumbent Orange Moldova received its three operating licences in the aforementioned bands; the operator paid MDL25.5 million for the concessions. Since late February 2013 the cellco has been operating under a 20-month provisional mobile licence, as the technology-neutral licensing regime will come into effect for all operators on 6 November 2014, after the concessions held by Moldtelecom and Moldcell expire.