It looks like Tele2 won't get its use of the 900 and 1800 Mhz spectrum extended by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission at the regulator's August 24 meeting, making this a real nail-biter for the mobile operator with around (my guess) 750 - 800 000 users. Their frequency use runs out on August 28, after that, it can be auctioned to the highest bidder or given to the prettiest one in a beauty contest. Basically, Tele2 Latvia will have to shut down or operate in some grey-zone until it a) either buys back its own frequencies or b) negotiates with the regulator to get an extension after solving whatever problems there are.
Apparently there are problems, at least modest ones involving differences of opinion between Tele2 and the regulator on disclosure of information as well as other disputes.
So what is really going on is Tele2 is getting spanked and scared shitless with the prospect of having no legal spectrum after Sunday, August 28. The regulator will probably call a last minute meeting on Friday and save Tele2 from going over the waterfall. That will teach those cheeky Swedish f**kers...
All this comes after the regulator adopted "good children get extended" rules for spectrum use that included the requirement of having no violations of spectrum use (i.e. calls breaking into my favorite U2 song on the FM radio) and no other kinds of violations of normative acts. However, there is no precedent or benchmark for just what this means. This may be a first and spectacular precedent. I wonder if chicken-racing (two cars approach head on at top speed to see who turns away first) one of Europe's biggest alternative operators is the way to show that the Latvian regulator has balls. We all know she does :)*
*the regulator is chaired by a lady, Inna Steinbuka.