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$14.77 -0.0  -0.1%

Last Trade - 14/05/21

Large Cap
Market Cap £34.74bn
Enterprise Value £59.15bn
Revenue £36.26bn
Position in Universe 256th / 6846

UPDATE 1-Bulgaria's telco regulator seeks 5G rollout resolution after legal challenge

Mon 15th March, 2021 3:10pm
(Adds Telenor Bulgaria, A1 comment)
    By Tsvetelia Tsolova
    SOFIA, March 15 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's telecoms regulator
said on Monday it would seek ways to speed up the commercial
rollout of 5G wireless networks after telecoms operator Vivacom
contested in court its decision to allocate three 5G licences.  
    The Communication Regulation Commission (CRC) decided to
close a 5G auction and grant each of the country's three major
telecoms operators a licence in the 3.6 GHz spectrum without 
competition after reviewing their applications for the process.
    Bulgaria's leading telecoms firm Vivacom, controlled by
United Group, has started legal proceedings over the way the
licences were assigned, a court filing showed, a process that
could take months or years and seriously delay the development
of the country's 5G networks.
    "We will hold a meeting and seek ways to move forward
because it is in the national interest to speed up the process,
if it is possible. If not, it will be left in the hands of the
court," CRC head Ivan Dimitrov told Reuters.
    Dimitrov said he expects the regulator to find a solution,
pointing out that even if it issues the licences they cannot be
enforced before the court rules on Vivacom's complaint.
    Two industry sources familiar with the situation said one
way out might be to hold a new auction for the licences, which
Vivacom has asked for in its complaint to the court.
   Vivacom declined to immediately comment when contacted by
    A1, part of Austria's A1 Group controlled by Mexico's
America Movil  AMXL.MX , and Telenor Bulgaria, owned by Czech
investment group PPF, said they were satisfied with the
allocated frequencies.
    "We will consider accepting any change to the regulator's
decision if it is the only transparent and stable way to acquire
5G spectrum," Telenor Bulgaria said in an email statement.
    A1 also said it may consider other options, adding it was
surprised by Vivacom's appeal.  
    "This is a dangerous approach, which could have very grave
consequences for 5G development and economic recovery in
Bulgaria," A1 said.
   The CRC initially planned to auction three 20-year licences
each with an initial price of 4 million levs ($2.44 million),
but reviewed its decision on March 10 after examining the
($1 = 1.6390 leva)

 (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova, editing by Ed Osmond, Kirsten
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