Bulgaria grants mobile phone licence to Bulsatcom

SOFIA Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:35pm EST

SOFIA Jan 11 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's telecoms regulator on Friday granted the country's fourth GSM mobile phone licence to local satellite operator Bulsatcom.

Bulsatcom will now compete with three other groups - M-Tel, controlled by Telekom Austria ; Globul, the Bulgarian unit of Greek OTE and Vivacom.

"Bulsatcom won a 10-year licence to use the frequencies in the 1800 Mhz range for 19 million levs ($12.96 million) and we already received a confirmation that the amount was paid," a spokeswoman for the regulator told Reuters.

Bulsatcom, which said its GSM services would be available for customers by the end of the year, said it would not seek a big market share at this stage.

Mobile phone market penetration in Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member, for 2011 was 147 percent. ($1 = 1.4656 Bulgarian levs) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov. Editing by Jane Merriman)