ECONOMY

Globul after fixed lines

SOFIA – Bulgarian mobile operator Globul, controlled by Greek telecoms firm OTE, said yesterday it had applied for a license to enter the Balkan state’s fixed-line telephone market. Globul made its application after Bulgaria’s top mobile phone player, Mobiltel, received a fixed-line license last month and before the approaching entry of dominant fixed-line operator BTC into the mobile market in April. «The main aim of Globul is to offer more and better options to clients and push the competition in the stagnant market of fixed-line services,» Globul said in a statement. Globul entered Bulgaria’s telecoms sector in 2000 and has a 20 percent share of the market. That falls well below the 75 percent controlled by Mobiltel, which is an acquisition target for Telekom Austria. With mobile phone penetration of around 50 percent of Bulgaria’s 8 million population and fixed-line penetration at around 40 percent, Bulgaria’s telecoms sector is one of Europe’s last prime-growth markets. So far, more than 10 companies have received licenses for fixed-line operations but telecoms firm BTC, majority-controlled by US equity fund Advent, is still a monopoly for full fixed-line services.