The first agreement for network sharing on the Bulgarian telecom market is a fact, after Mtel and Max signed a contract for national roaming. CEOs of both companies Thanasis Katsiroumpas and Neycho Velichkov signed the agreement on July 28th.
“Mtel is the telecom, which responded to Max’s offer and will provide national roaming. The successful end of the negotiations is a prerequisite for facilitating the entry of Max on the market and this in turn is expected to further increase the competition among the telecom companies in the country," said Thanasis Katsiroumpas.
Sharing our network with another operator will not worsen the quality of the services we provide to our customers. Mobiltel is committed to provide sufficient capacity to take the expected traffic for the entire contract period.
To request national roaming, an operator must ensure at least 20% coverage of the population of Bulgaria with their own network before starting roaming negotiations directly with the companies operating on the market. In terms of national roaming an operator with limited own network coverage uses an established telecom’s network for a wholesale fee and offers services on their own behalf at retail prices defined by themselves. In this case Max users will use their own network, but when customers get out of their area of coverage, their phone will automatically be transferred to the Mtel network.
National roaming is considered a measure in favor of competition as it encourages the entry of new mobile operators. It is temporary because within three to five years the entering operator must build their own network, gradually disconnecting from the roaming providing telecom.
Sharing infrastructure is new to Bulgaria, although there is already a trend in the development of the mobile market in the world and Europe. Telekom Austria Group also has extensive experience in using or providing national roaming operator in the different countries where it operates, such as Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.