ROME (03/13/2000) - The Spanish government today awarded Europe's first four Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) licenses, one of them going to the Amena SA consortium in which Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (TIM) is a partner, the Italian cellular phone operator said.
Spanish UMTS licenses were also awarded to Telefonica SA, the incumbent operator, Airtel SA and Xfera SA, in which France's Vivendi SA and Germany's Mannesmann AG are partners, TIM said in a prepared statement. Deutsche Telekom AG's Movil Web SA consortium and France Telecom SA's MoviDos were among the unsuccessful bidders for a third generation cellular license, it said.
The licenses were awarded on the basis of the business projects presented by the bidders, with particular emphasis on job creation and the promotion of Internet use among the young and by small and medium sized businesses. Amena already operates a GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) service and has acquired over 1 million clients over the last 11 months, TIM said. The Spanish company intends to use the UMTS technology to offer Internet access, video and music on demand, and mobile e-commerce, the statement said.
TIM, Europe's largest cellular phone operator with more than 18.5 million clients, is one of seven contenders for the five UMTS licenses due to be allocated in Italy by early September.
TIM can be contacted in Rome at +39-06-3900-2491 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.tim.it.