Moldova’s National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (Agentia Nationala pentru Reglementare in Comunicatii Electronice si Tehnologia Informatiei, ANRCETI) is planning to issue an operating licence to Sheriff Corporation’s InterDnestrCom (IDC), the sole provider of mobile services in the breakaway region of Transnistria (also known as Trans-Dniester), local news source Mold Street reported. In a White Paper criticising the plans, Orange Moldova and Moldcell revealed that an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act had been drafted to empower ANRCETI to reduce the area of coverage for the 15-year licences in the 800MHz band issued to Orange, Moldcell and Moldtelecom in November 2014, thus freeing spectrum in the band for IDC. Orange and Moldcell have objected to the plans, highlighting that a decision to extend a licence to IDC will redefine their operating rights. The two operators said: ‘Based on these licences, the operators have built 4G networks that cover most of the territory and population of Transnistria, serving this territory and the adjacent areas, which include over one hundred thousand customers. The 800MHz frequency band is a strategic asset, as it allows the provision of broadband data services in the high-speed and low-cost extended territories.’ According to them, if such a deal has to be enforced, ‘this can only be achieved by an agreement between the government and Orange and Moldcell concluded on commercial principles, against an adequate compensation for both the investments already made and the incomes that they would have [made from] the exploitation of these frequencies.’
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