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Watchdog Publishes Call for Bids for Mobile Frequencies

Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - The Agency for Post and Electronic Communications (APEK) has published a call for bids for new mobile frequencies at 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz that can be used for fourth-generation LTE mobile telephony services.

The call, which was published on Friday, will close on 15 April at midday and will be followed by a public opening of bids on 17 April, whereupon APEK will have 60 days to allocate frequencies.

The technology-neutral call aims to provide radio frequencies for mobile telephony under favourable conditions in order to promote the expansion of next-generation broadband service, APEK said in a statement.

The agency is still planning a big-bang auction of frequencies at 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz in 2014, but has decided to go ahead with the smaller auction to respond to demand among operators who will see their existing 900 MHz and 1800 MHz licenses expire in 2016.

Slovenia's two biggest mobile operators Telekom Slovenije and Simobil have already indicated their interest in launching 4G services, for which they require additional frequencies.

While Simobil has already launched a limited rollout of LTE services in Ljubljana and the Jože Pučnik Ljubljana Airport using existing 1800 MHz frequencies, Telekom is expected to follow suit with limited coverage in several cities as early as this week.

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