Zekovic: The state bans the entry of a new mobile operator to stop SBB

The executive director of SBB company, Milija Zeković, assessed today that the state of Serbia bans the entry of a new mobile operator, only to stop SBB.

Zekovic believes that the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matic, at the panel discussion of the American Chamber of Commerce, “assigned SBB the role of an undesirable investor, because there is no reason for the state of Serbia to refuse to invest in mobile telephony,” SBB said.

He added that “Matic claims that three mobile telephony operators in Serbia are enough”, and called it a “flat rate assessment”.

“This lump sum assessment is not supported by any relevant study, but the message of the Serbian government is clear that they do not want to allow SBB company, which has invested almost 900 million euros in Serbia so far, to compete for the position of new mobile operator,” he said.

In February, SBB sent a study to RATEL and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, stating that mobile phone users in Serbia are at a disadvantage compared to citizens in the region, “because they pay many times higher prices for many services.”

He stated that to date, no one has officially addressed them regarding the Study, but that, after the statement of Minister Matić, “it is clear that the state prohibits the entry of a new mobile operator on the Serbian market.”

“I think it is unnoticed that one European country openly announces that one interested party cannot participate in the public tender at all, contrary to all the rules of the free market,” Zekovic stated.

He reminded that the company SBB publicly announced the request to start a 5G auction and the desire to invest at the beginning of the year.

He added that SBB’s questions remained without an official answer.

He stated that Matic did not understand the claims “that the Ministry cannot wait 10 years for one of the telecommunication operators to build the infrastructure”.

He added that SBB, in a public invitation to RATEL, presented a plan for expanding the network in the next five years after obtaining the permit, and underlined the possibility of expanding the network and building infrastructure at about 1000-1400 locations a year.

He pointed out that SBB “stated the realistic coverage that is common for new operators entering the market”.

“If one of the employees in the Ministry had really read the Study and SBB’s answers to the public call, he could have told the minister that there is a clear plan of our company to start providing the service within 18 months of obtaining the license, so users would not suffer at all.” , he added.

He assessed that the minister’s statements “indicate that a precedent is at work because the state of Serbia refuses to open a tender for all interested parties” and thus, as he pointed out, “renounces serious income, only to prevent SBB’s entry into the mobile telephony market.”

He stated that “Relevant European studies indicate that the price of telecommunication services in the markets where four or more operators operate is 20 percent lower compared to those where three operate.”

He reminded that SBB operates as part of the United Group, “within which the leading operators with the fastest mobile network in Europe operate”

“Only in Serbia, the state prevents SBB from investing and providing citizens with a better offer on the market,” Zekovic concluded.

By Editor

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