(Ondřej Daťka) Two Czech telecommunications operators, Cesky Telecom’s Eurotel and Ceske radio’s RadioMobil, each submitted applications yesterday for UMTS licenses at a fixed price of CZK 6.7 bil. per license, but the operators’ bids are subject to certain conditions to be negotiated with the state (e.g., longer payment and roll-out periods, no fourth license, etc.). CTU, the Czech telecommunications regulator, said that only the government can alter the price and the conditions. A steering committee will evaluate the bids and submit them to Cabinet for its next session (August 22). The head of the CTU said that, in light of the expected negotiations, the end-of-September deadline for license allocation is unrealistic. It is still uncertain as to whether not yet sure whether the government will issue a fourth UMTS license.
The third telecommunications operator in the Czech Republic, TIW’s Cesky Mobil, did not apply for a fixed-price license, opting instead for a second-round auction in expectation of a lower price. The state’s fixed price is above what both Eurotel and RadioMobil had previously indicated they would be willing to pay; the news of their bids, therefore, led to a negative stock-price response, though both stocks later subsequently recovered some of their losses.