The Estonian National Communications Board (ENCB) announced a public tender for an authorisation for a third generation mobile telephone network in Estonia.

The tender procedure will be an auction with a starting price of 70 million EEK (± €4.47m).

The winner of the auction will receive a technical authorisation, a licence for the operation of a public telecommunications network, a registration for the provision of telecommunications services and a country-wide installation permit for radio transmission equipment to be used in the frequency bands 1915.2-1920.0 MHz TDD and 1920.3-1935.3/2110.3-2125.3 MHz FDD. The licence will be valid for 10 years.

The winner will be obliged to reach a coverage of 30% of the Estonian population at the latest by the seventh year of operation. Data transmission rates must at least 144 kbit/s in towns and 64 kbit/s elsewhere. Applicants will have to pay a deposit of 7 milion EEK (± €447.000), which will be returned if they fail to win the auction.

The deadline for applications and the payment of the deposit is 23 April 2004. More information regarding the tender procedure will be published later this week.

The winning contender will have to pay (in addition to the amount bid in the auction) a state fee of 697,400 EEK (± €44.560) for the granting of the "Installation Permit for Radio Transmission Equipment" and the Licence, and for the registration for the provision of telecommunications services.