bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
LatviaLatvia

Speculators not to receive frequencies, despite telecommunications tariff drop

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Valdis Lokenbahs

Valdis Lokenbahs

Telecommunications services tariffs have even dropped down to a «zero»; however, the regulator still has much to do in the industry, ensuring that communications frequencies are not given to speculators, reducing inter-operator payments and monitoring the quality of electronic communications, considers Valdis Lokenbahs, the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Lokenbahs recognizes telecommunications prices are determined by fierce competition; yet, the PUC has much work left, mainly regarding the interconnection and call termination fees. They have to be pressed down to the European Union level.

In Latvia, these tariffs are recalculated every half-year; they are being lowered and the next reduction is set on July 1, explains the PUC Head. The interconnection and termination tariffs are paid by one operator to another for routing their calls through the other operator’s network, or for the call connection with other operator’s end-users.

There are also many issues on the quality of electronic communications, testing and meeting them. It is important to measure the quality of the Internet; within two months we have carried out 5 000 measurements. Latvia has relatively high quality indicators because of the existence and activities of the PUC, Lokenbahs says in an interview to Nozare.lv.

Asked about the recent failure regarding the 450 megahertz (MHz) frequency auction organized by the PUC, Lokenbahs concedes the regulator could change the auction price policy, yet is not going to sell frequencies to potential speculators.

The industry experts consider the auction of 450 megahertz (MHz) bandwidth – 457.5 MHz/460 MHz – 467.5 MHz two 1.25 MHz radio channel usage rights ended with no result, because the starting price of 200 000 lats was too high.

Operators want everything for free! They would be glad if they received extra payment. As I mentioned already, any speculator could buy the frequency at a low price, later selling it to an operator, who really wants to do something for those 200 000 lats, Lokenbahs indicates.

Asked whether the PUC cannot hinder the participation of dubious candidates at auctions, the PUC Head replies there are cases when the regulator can refuse a particular applicant, but for the most part it cannot. We can impose a participation fee, certain obligations. As regards the 450 MHz, we can say 200 000 lats was too much to ask. Okay, then let it be 100 000!

As concerns the second interrupted auction process regarding the 2.5 – 2.69 gigahertz (GHz) bandwidth intended for the fourth generation (4G) mobile Internet, Lokenbahs confirms the already published information in mass media that Lattelecom waivered from the requirement to hold an auction. However, the expert points out Lattelecom has not lost interest in the 4G and this bandwidth.

Lokenbahs was dismissive of applying the so-called «beauty contest» method in the allocation of frequencies, where the candidates are selected by assessing their business plans, offered tariffs and coverage, while the frequency would be given to the winner for a small price.

Latvia could organize a «beauty contest» if it were completely clear these plans are actually to be carry out. I am not saying this is impossible. But to avoid petty quarrels and speculations, we are setting these prices, which affect the end tariff by one santim, Lokenbahs clarifies, arguing that the price of frequency use rights makes up only a small proportion of the investments necessary for the mobile communications or mobile Internet business.


Leave a reply

Bank of Latvia governor: I have received death threats

«This situation is incredibly complicated. This situation is quite possibly the most complicated one I have ever been in. I feel a great deal of support from people I don’t know, as well as my friends and family members. I have decided to not back down – I am innocent. The the people attacking my reputation have only one goal in mind – to have me step down,» said the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs during a press conference on Tuesday, 20 February.

Proportion of people working in Latvia’s culture sector is larger than the average in EU

The number of people working in Latvia’s culture sector is equal to 4.5% of the total number of employed people in the country. This proportion is also larger than the average one across the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat.

Ministry: idea for compulsory secondary education should be put on hold for now

Considering that Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry has several ongoing industry reforms, it would be best to put the proposal for compulsory secondary education on hold, said Education and Science Minister Kārlis Šadurskis during a meeting of Saeima’s Education, Culture and Science Committee.

Association: ECB should become more involved in resolving Latvia’s financial scandal

Association of Latvian Commercial Banks sees a need for the European Central Bank (ECB) to become more involved in the discussion and help resolve the situation, considering evaluation of ABLV Bank’s business model is in direct competence of ECB.

Hesburger to invest 11.5 million euros in Baltics this year

The largest fast food catering restaurant network in Finland and Baltic States – Hesburger – plans to invest approximately EUR 11.5 million in business development this year. EUR 5.5 million are planned to be invested in Latvia’s market, says Hesburger Development Director Ieva Salmela.

Air temperature drops below -30° C in certain parts of Northern Europe

On Tuesday, 20 February, air temperature in central and northern parts of Finland dropped to -27° C… -31° C in morning hours. In Norway, close to the Finnish border, air temperature has dropped as far as -34° C, according to data from meteorological stations.

FCMC suspects someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector

It is not impossible that someone may want to undermine Latvia’s financial sector, said chairman of Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission Pēters Putniņš in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme on Tuesday, 20 February.

European exchange indexes decline; Wall Street enjoys a holiday

European exchange indexes declined on Monday, 19 February. No trading was performed at American stock markets, because the country was celebrating President’s Day.

Party: Latvian banking system’s crisis threatens Skanste neighbourhood's development

There are serious risks associated with European Union’s co-financed project for the revitalization of Skanste neighbourhood, including construction of Skanste tramway line, says member of Riga City Council and For Latvia’s Development party Viesturs Zeps.

Public opinion: KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately

Latvia’s society believes the KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately. In addition, residents say they are confident in their ability to discuss those documents without the country’s supervision, which takes the form of expert opinions prevailing over society’s moral views, as stated by guest researcher of History Institute of the University of Latvia M. His. Marta Starostina.

For Latvia’s Development: the prime minister is gone, but finance minister claims otherwise

«What we have observed in the past several days is that Latvia’s financial sector has received several heavy strikes as a result of the government’s uncoordinated and chaotic actions. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis has evidently ‘disappeared’ and offers no clear plans to resolve the crisis, whereas Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola says different things in every interview. Such behaviour will not help resolve the crisis. It could instead pull the country’s financial sector in a much deeper crisis,» says chairman of For Latvia’s Development Juris Pūce.

Bank of Latvia provided ABLV Bank with a loan of 97.5 mln euros in exchange for securities pledge

The Bank of Latvia has provided ABLV Bank with a loan worth EUR 97.5 million in exchange for securities pledge, as confirmed by the financial institution.

Prime Minister: Bank of Latvia governor is not allowed to take official post

As a security measure, the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has been applied with a prohibition to take post, said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Poland's halt to logging in ancient forest came after irreparable damage

Although Poland has stated logging in the old-growth Bialowieza forest has been stopped, Warsaw has failed to reveal the amount of trees already cut down.

«A good friend» pays 100,000 euro bail for arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) has applied a bail of 100,000 euros for the arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. The bail has already been paid to the State Treasury account, as confirmed by his lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.

NP: ABLV blames Latvian officials for misleading foreign institutions

Last week, the reputation of Latvia’s second largest bank – ABLV – was seriously impacted. It is believed that money laundering was this bank’s main operation, and that it failed to comply with the prohibition on cooperation with North Korea. The bank is also accused of bribery. US Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rarely speaks so directly of any credit institution, says Nekā personīga programme.

Changes to third-country student residence in Estonia to add more responsibilities to university staff

The Estonian government has backed planned amendments are to the Aliens Law implementing an EU directive into Estonian law, which change how third-country nationals on enter and reside in Estonia if they are study or performing research work.

Russia criticises U.S. charges of Russian meddling in U.S. election

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, has criticised the charges announced by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, against 13 Russian nationals and three companies for election meddling.

Government plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvian regions

The State Police plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvia’s regions, says Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis.

Syrian Kurdish fighters under attack by Turkey announce deal with Syrian government forces

The mainly Kurdish militia in the north-west of Syria have announced having reached an agreement with the Syrian government for the latter to deploy its soldiers in order to help Kurds repel the current Turkish attack.

NCP: it is highly important to replace management of Bank of Latvia and FCMC

Considering recent events, which have not only impacted the country’s finance sector but also its international reputation, the New Conservative Party (NCP) demands immediate measures to be undertaken to replace the management of the Bank of Latvia and the Finance and Capital Market Commission. On top of that, it is also necessary to perform radical changes in the organization and supervision of those institutions, says NCP chairman Jānis Bordāns.

Air temperature in Latvia to gradually decline this week

On Monday, 19 February, atmospheric pressure will increase slightly in the north. With that, it is expected to snow only around Kurzeme’s south-west. Air temperature in most of Latvia will stay at -1° C… -6° C. In Kurzeme, however, air temperature will be around 0° C… +1° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania celebrating centennial of statehood

Leaders of European countries gathered in Vilnius on Friday, February 16, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of restored statehood, and festive events were taking place in many cities and towns of Lithuania.

BNN summary of the week: minister threatened with dismissal; ABLV Bank scandal

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Court; Problem; Decline; Commentary; Future; Proposal

SRS uncovered violations in 169 inspections at catering companies last year

In 2017, the State Revenue Service (SRS) performed a total of 989 inspections at 212 catering companies. This includes 182 thematic inspections for 125 taxpayers. Violations were uncovered in 169 inspections. The most common violation was manipulation with cash registers, according to information published by SRS.