Subsidized mobiles set for launch

  • 2001-11-29
  • BNS
RIGA - Mobile phone customers look set to benefit from a new telecommunications law in Latvia, which takes effect at the end of the month.

As of Nov. 30, the largest Latvian mobile phone operator, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, will, like its rival Tele2, be allowed to sell subsidized mobile phones. Both companies' licenses will be amended to ensure that mobile phones they sell can be used on other networks once the purchase agreement with the customer expires.

Phones sold by Swedish-owned Tele2 can not currently be used on other networks.

Inara Rudaka, director of the Latvian Transport Ministry's communication department, said that the public regulation commission will have to reregister existing telecommunication licenses within six months of the new law taking effect, in accordance with the new law.

Many people who buy subsidized mobile phones with prepaid call cards do so without realizing the phone is not usable on other networks, she said.

Anyone selling subsidized phones for use with a specific network for a limited period must clearly define these time limits and make it clear that the client has freely chosen to limit the use of the phone being purchased.

LMT said it currently had 335,115 subscribers, while the number of Tele2 subscribers is unavailable.