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Netia opts out of GSM 1800 tender

10.1.2006 11:50
Autor: KBC/Patria

Netia has dropped out of the tender for a GSM 1800 license. TPSA, Dialog (through KGHM) and Telekomunikacja Kolejowa are the three remaining bidders. Netia decided to opt out of the bid process saying that a GSM network would eventually be made redundant by UMTS and therefore P4, its mobile arm, will just focus on building out their UMTS infrasturcture, for which they have a license.

We view this development as somewhat surprising given that the company, in the last conference call, hinted that they have no plans to become an MVNO as they are fully commited to building out their own network, and that they were confident that they will get a GSM license to speed up their network and service roll-out. Not having a GSM infrastructure would mean that they will have to roll-out more UMTS base stations, and with their stated commitment to become operational by the end of the year, P4 will most certainly have to purchase capacity from existing operators for some time.

Meanwhile, should TPSA/Centertel acquire another GSM license, they will be better placed to offer better packages to attract subscribers as competition increases. Interestingly, they would also be able to sell capacity to other operators, resellers or MVNOs, such as P4.

We view the news as neutral to slightly positive for TPSA, and negative for Netia, and reiterate our BUY and SELL recommendations for TPSA and Netia respectively.

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