Mtel pays EUR 30.6mn for 10-year extension of its mobile licence [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mtel, Bulgaria's largest wireless operator (a unit of Telekom Austria), has paid EUR 30.6mn to the local telecoms watchdog to extend its licence for the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum to 2024, the company said in a statement. It will also have to pay a EUR 2.2mn annual spectrum fee.
The cost of the licence was driven up by the amendments in the general requirements for the provision of public electronic communications adopted in January 2014. The new rules replaced the administrative fee for the use of a particular frequency spectrum with a hefty tariff.
The licences of the other two mobile operators in the country - Globul (owned by Norway's Telenor) and Vivacom (run by the former state telecoms monopoly BTC) are due to expire in 2021 and 2024, respectively.
Mtel's revenue declined 14.8% to EUR 399.4mn last year, according to a report by Telekom Austria. Despite efforts to optimise costs, Mtel's EBITDA fell 23.5% to EUR 158.6mn. On the other hand, the telecom's operating income grew 15.9% to EUR 64mn.
Its mobile market share fell to 39% at end-December from 42.1% a year earlier due to a 7.4% drop to 4.18mn in the telecom's mobile communication subscribers, which resulted from a change in the calculation method.
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