Last year, the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTO) announced a tender for the rights to use radio frequencies for providing a public communications network and officially published a list of bidders.
The primary aim of the auction was to attract a new operator to the local market, who would encourage a competitive environment within the oligopolistic Czech telecommunications market, as well as to provide high-speed mobile Internet services in the new so-called “fourth generation networks” both to individuals and business entities.
In March 2013, the CTO surprisingly cancelled the auction citing that the current total bid for the auctioned frequencies exceeded twenty billion crowns and was continuing to increase. The CTO stated that the high acquisition costs would likely be negatively reflected in the price of the new services, which was against the original intention of the CTO. Total bids during the auction ranged from starting bids of 7.4 billion crowns to over 20 billion crowns. According to the CTO’s chairman, the offered price was economically unrealistic and would result in the services being offered at a high price.
Last week, the CTO announced that it had released new tender conditions documentation and that the public tender commenced on 15 August 2013.
An application to participate in the tender can be submitted by interested parties from 15 August until 30 September 2013 with the CTO to open application envelops on 1 October 2013. The tender is a two phase process. In the first phase, the CTO will assess the applications and inform applicants on whether or not they comply with the tender conditions. In the second stage, successful applicants will be invited to participate in the auction itself.
The CTO expects that the auction will be completed by the end of the year with the winner of the auction possibly able to use the frequencies from the beginning of 2014.