The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission didn't put the matter of Triatel (Telekom Baltija's) and Tele2's frequency use renewal on the agenda for this week. This means more nail-biting at Triatel. The regulator says it is waiting for guidelines from the Ministry of Transport (MoT) but my sources at the MoT say the regulator can decide for itself. So we are back to the issue, mentioned a few times earlier on this blog, of a kind of undeclared low-intensity conflict between the two state authorities.
As far as the MoT rules for extending "licences" held by existing operators goes, it appears these will be finished and ready for Cabinet of Minister's approval by the end of the month. But people at the MoT say the regulator doesn't need them. And the regulator can't decide without them, or at least won't decided until it has the rules to use to settle what may be internal differences inside the regulator.
Some good news: the fees being discussed for reserving phone numbers are in the range of LVL 0.12 to LVL 0.28 per number per year, which is less than the LVL 0.50 mentioned earlier. Even the earlier amount was considered to small to have an impact on mobile services costs for consumers. It also appears that fees for frequency use will also be moderate, designed to cover costs (of administration) rather than generate revenues for the state.
Apple Store Riga??
Another bizarre but pleasant rumor is that an Apple Store to sell Macintosh computers and iPods and various peripherals may open in Riga by the end of the summer. That would be cool, but I have to check this one out. The computer retailer Capital is said to be the local partner.
Latvia is not a Mac-friendly place, although this is being typed on a Powerbook G4 by a Mac user since 1985.