STA, 9 July 2019 - Telecoms operator Telemach, which holds about a fifth of the country's mobile telephony market, is on track to losing a portion of wireless spectrum that had been awarded free of charge in 2008 to a company it acquired almost five years ago.
The Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOS) has decided to take back two 5 MHz slices of spectrum in the 2100 MHz band, which amounts to less than a tenth of total spectrum that Telemach has at its disposal.
The decision will be effective on 30 September, until which time a public call for bids for the spectrum will be issued. Telemach will be allowed to bid, AKOS said on Tuesday.
Telemach told the STA the move would not affect its users since they have enough spectrum, and it said it would mount a challenge at the Administrative Court.
As for participating in the announced tender, the company said this would "depend on the tender conditions and the company's assessment as to whether the acquisition of additional frequency under the tender conditions is technically and economically justified."
The decision is based on an ruling by the Administrative Court, which examined the awarding of the spectrum to Tušmobil free of charge in 2008 and decided the agency needed to make a new decision.
The awarding of the spectrum is also the subject of a criminal trial, with former AKOS director Tomaž Simonič charged with abuse of office for giving the spectrum to Tušmobil in exchange for an apartment provided by Mirko Tuš, at the time the owner of Tušmobil.
Telemach acquired Tušmobil in 2014 in a move that bolstered its mobile offerings and made it the number 3 wireless operator in Slovenia.