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PMR telecom network fails to attract bidders

Another flop for a mobile telephone auction in Switzerland Keystone

The Federal telecommunications authorities have suffered another flop, with no telecom operators coming forward to bid for a licence for Private Mobile Radio (PMR).

PMR is exclusively reserved for transport companies, taxis and other private services but not the public.

The Federal Communications Office in Biel said it had received no applications by the December 22 deadline.

The lack of serious interest follows last month’s failure of the auction for third generation telephone UMTS licences, which fetched SFr205 million ($127.33 million), only SFr5 million more than the minimum SFr200 million.

The Communications Office said that eight companies had expressed interest in the PMR licence but none had put in a candidature.

If there had been a number of candidates fulfilling the licence requirements, an auction would have been held, with a minimum bid of SFr900,000.

A decision on the next step in granting the licence is expected in the second quarter.

PMR, which already exists in other European countries, is a digital system much faster than analogue networks available and the mobile GSM and UMTS systems.

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