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Albania to Launch New Mobile Operator January 12, 2009

Posted by aikservices in Albania, GSM, Mobile, Telecom, Wireless.
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Albania’s Telecommunication Authority, ERT, will assign a new GSM license in the next few weeks.

“By Jan. 23, we will begin to accept offers”, said Ilir Shehu ERT head, claiming that “many foreign companies had already been interested to enter in the market”.

According to new tender procedures ERT will weight which company offers cheaper calls rates instead of the highest bidder for the contract.

Albania privatized its first mobile operator AMC back in May 2000 for 85.6 million USD and sold the second license on the following year for USD 38 million. The third license was assigned to the former state owned fixed line operator Albtelecom.

Albania currently have 2.3 million mobile phone subscribers, but penetration is still low compared to other East European countries. Albanians suffers also highest tariffs in the continent as a result of high cost of interconnection between existing operators and lack of market liberalization.

On 2007, the Albanian Competition Authority opened an investigation in this marked and found a near monopoly situation, but respondent fines were never collected as a result of political pressure on the government.

Insiders in the marked told AE that a new operator “will not bring cheaper calls”, because the core problem in the market is the interconnection tariffs that do not facilitate the entry of new competitors in the market.

Wireless Industry News

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