YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesAUSTRIA LICENSING ON HOLD DUE TO GOVERNMENT CRISIS AS PARLIAMENT DISSOLVES

AUSTRIA LICENSING ON HOLD DUE TO GOVERNMENT CRISIS AS PARLIAMENT DISSOLVES

VIENNA, Austria-The licensing process for Austria’s second digital wireless phone system has been put on hold temporarily due to the government crisis in that country.

Six bidders met the Oct. 13 application deadline for the Global System for Mobile communications license. However, that day also proved to be the day the Austrian parliament, having come to an impasse on budget matters, voted to dissolve itself.

New elections could be held in December.

Until a new parliament is created, the plans of Austria’s Ministry for Public Economy and Transport will be delayed.

Austria originally hoped to choose a cellular licensee by the end of the year and have the network operational by 1996.

Transport Minister Viktor Klima told reporters in Vienna that a license could not be legally awarded with parliament dissolved.

Two U.S.-based companies, AirTouch Communications Inc. and Bell Atlantic Corp., were among the companies that applied for the license. Consortia filing for the license include United Telecom Austria, Montacam, Connect Austria, Austrocom, Hello Telecom and Oe-Call.

As a member of the European Union, Austria must break up its government monopoly of telecommunication services by 1998.

The Austrian Post, Telephone and Telegraph already offers analog, Total Access Communications Service and GSM cellular telephone services.

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