Swan, Slovakia’s fourth mobile operator, can keep its licence and continue offering services, the Office for Electronic Communication and Postal Services Regulation (RU) announced on December 7.
The decision follows an investigation on whether the operator has started to use the 4G frequencies to it within six months. The ruling will allow Swan continue challenging the other three mobile operators on the Slovak market and is likely to influence competitors’ offers.
Swan, owned by investment company Danubia Invest, has been present on the Slovak market since 2001, offering voice, data and internet services. In October this year, it managed to launch mobile services. However, soon afterwards, the Supreme Court ordered RU to investigate whether the telecom operator had fulfilled its obligations included in the 4G licence it won in January 2014. The court claimed Swan had only launched its network within the six month timeframe, but had not made it available to customers within the prescribed period.
"RU decided to halt proceedings for the removal of Swan's ... licence. Swan complied with the obligation to start using the allocated frequencies for permitted purpose and for designated scope within six months after authorisation,” RU said in a statement.
Swan launched the country’s fourth mobile operator, 4ka, after teaming up with state-owned postal service provider Slovenska Posta. That allows Swan to take advantage of the postal operator’s large retail and disribution network.
4ka targets young customers by offering low prices. However, analysts have suggested the low pricing policy might not be enough to mount a real challenge to the big three competitors - Orange Slovensko, Slovak Telekom - the local subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica Slovakia - as there is not much space at the bottom end of the voice and messaging market.
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