Czech watchdog proposes steps to open up mobile market

PRAGUE Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:50am EST

PRAGUE Dec 21 (Reuters) - The Czech telecom market regulator will propose measures easing the entry of alternative mobile operators into the market, aiming to boost competition following an analysis showing power was concentrated in too few hands.

The Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) said on Friday the main problem was an absence of wholesale offers that would allow the operation of "virtual" operators, or those who don't own their own telecoms infrastructure but resell surplus bandwidth from those who do.

The Czech phone market is dominated by Telefonica's local unit Telefonica Czech Republic, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and Vodafone.

The CTU proposed measures to allow easier market access for new entrants and also looked at regulating prices in areas not currently regulated.

The CTU is running a tender for frequencies for fourth-generation mobile telephone networks but has not set a date for the sale.

The three main companies along with PPF Mobile Services, part of Czech financial group PPF, are all bidding in the sale. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by David Holmes)