ECONOMY

Mobile phone spectrum sale to fetch 381 mln

Greece will raise 381 million euros from the sale of mobile phone frequencies to its biggest telecom operator OTE, Vodafone and Wind Hellas, the minimum price set in the tender, its telecoms regulator said on Monday.

The sale is part of a 22-billion-euro privatization plan agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund under a 240-billion-euro bailout.

It will help upgrade telecom services in Greece – a market hurt by intense competition among operators and falling usage amid a recession.

The three firms bought mobile radio frequency rights within the 800 and 2,600 MHz band for 15 years, the regulator told reporters after the auction was completed on Monday.

Athens wants to raise 1.5 billion euros this year from state divestments. It has repeatedly missed privatization targets mainly due to a lack of investor appetite and regulatory snags. The regulator said that 30 percent of the amount would be cashed in this year, after the deal was signed. The state would get the rest of the amount in February or in annual installments over the next two years, it said. [Reuters]