The first tender for a second operator in
December 2005 did not succeed, and now preparations are being made for a second
contest, which is expected to be held in January.
The BIRN-organised debate examined how
Kosovo will benefit from a second mobile operator; how the tender will be
organised; what is being done to ensure that it won’t fail as the first one
did; and who is likely to apply.
Panellists invited to discuss on this
topic were: Qemajl Ahmeti, minister of transport and telecommunications; Anton
Berisha, from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, ART; Etrur
Rrustemaj, head of Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo, PTK; Akan Ismajli,
director of the main internet service provider in Kosovo, IPKO net; and Fatmir
Gashi from the Dukagjini company.
The debate started with a field report
that included local people’s opinions about the state of the mobile phone
system, focusing mostly on service low quality and call high costs.
Another report, which looked at the
challenges faced by the first tender and the reasons why it failed, was shown
during the debate.
Ahmeti said the purpose of having a second
mobile operator in Kosovo is to have a liberal market which would lead to
competitiveness, higher quality and economic progress.
“The more mobile operators there are, the
lower prices we will have,” said Ahmeti
Rrustemaj admitted that the prices of the
mobile operator Vala 900, which has a monopoly in Kosovo, have been high due to
unreasonable operational costs.
Ismaili said he was optimistic that the
second tender will succeed because “this time there has been a deeper analysis
of many elements of the tender”.
Gashi said that all illegal operators that
have established themselves on Kosovo territory should not be allowed to
participate in the tender
“According to the transport and
telecommunication law, these operators are not eligible,” he said
All the panellists agreed that illegal
operators in Kosovo had damaged the telecommunication system here.