Belgium to seek bids for new mobile phone network

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Fourth Belgian telecom network due by end of this year.

BRUSSELS, March 31, 2009 (AFP) - The Belgian government is to launch a tender for a fourth mobile telecommunications network in the country before the end of the year, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.

The tender would be for licences to operate both second and third generation mobile phone networks, ministry spokesman Tim Van Broekhoven told AFP, confirming Belgian press reports.

"The government still has to decide if the licences will be allocated through a selection process or by auction," he said, adding that an invitation for tenders was expected "after the summer."

He said that the government hoped to raise around 40 million euros from the sale of the licences.

Belgium's mobile phone market is currently divided between Belgacom unit Proximus, France Telecom's Mobistar and Dutch group KPN's Base.


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