Romania extends licences of two mobile operators by one year.

By bne IntelliNews January 3, 2012
The Romanian government said it has extended by one year the operating licences of the country's two largest mobile operators, Orange Romania and Vodafone Romania. The two companies will each pay a fee of EUR 6.4mn in return, the government said in a statement on its website. The one-year extension of the licences is a temporary measure, the statement said, adding the size of the fees was calculated based on the EUR 75mn price paid back in 1996 for the 15-year licences with the necessary inflation corrections. The licences of the two operators were issued in 1996 and expired at the end of 2011. The government did not specify whether it reached any conclusion regarding a key topic of the negotiations with the two mobile telecommunication operators - namely freeing part of the 900MHz and 1,800MHz bands used by them. The government has said earlier it wants the two companies to make available for other purposes part of the two bands within a year. The companies, however, claim that the one-year term is too short and the costs involved are high, reaching around EUR 100mn.

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