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Friday, 4 May, 2001, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Greece lines up 3G licence sale
View of Athens
Greece is also putting more 2G spectrum up for sale
Greece has announced plans to auction four third-generation (3G) mobile phone licences later this year.

Announcement of the sale comes at a difficult time for European wireless operators, most of which are battling high debts, slower growth and investor concern over the heavy costs and uncertain financial prospects of 3G.

Analysts said the Greek mobiles market has good potential for operators but the licence auction is not expected to be a big moneyspinner for the government.

Given current market conditions, the licences might be sold for as little as 25bn drachmas ($66m; 46m) each, they said.

Vodafone, Telecom Italia to bid?

Potential bidders for the new licences include Greece's three existing mobile operators - Vodafone subsidiary Panafon, CosmOTE - a venture of Greece's OTE Telecoms and Norway's Telenor - and Telecom Italia's Stet Hellas.

Greek telecoms authority EETT also said it aimed to divide up and sell remaining second-generation (2G) spectrum at the same time as the 3G auction.

Operators will be able to bid for extra spectrum to upgrade existing networks while a fourth 2G licence will also be awarded.

EETT, which will conduct the auctions, is thought to be aiming to award the licences by early July.


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15 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Greece
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