By the results of the biddings for universal communication services announced by the Federal Communications Agency (Rossvyaz) on February 21, 2007, North-West Telecom became the winner of the biddings for universal payphone communication services in Leningrad and Novgorod Oblast (Rossvyaz’s website,21.02.07).
On the bidding panel were representatives of the Ministry of IT and Communications, Federal Communications Agency, Ministry of Economic Development, relevant committees of the State Duma and the Council of Federation of the RF Federal Assembly, RF President Expert Agency, and governmental authorities of the RF subject territories where the biddings were held.
According to the bidding terms, NWT will install 3432 payphones in 3393 localities of the said regions:
- in Leningrad Oblast: 1600 universal payphones in 1582 localities,
- in Novgorod Oblast: 1832 universal payphones in 1811 localities.
North-West Telecom OJSC as a universal service operator undertakes to start providing universal payphone communication services in the bidding-covered territory (i.e. to commission at least one payphone) within six months from the dates of sining of the contracts with the RF Federal Communications Agency.
Payphones intended for universal communication services will be installed at convenient public places in accordance with the requirements and rules of provision of universal communication services. NWT must put all universal payphones in operation within one year from the date of signing of the contract with the RF Federal Communications Agency .
The charge rates for local telephone connections via universal payphones as set by the RF Federal Communications Agency will be 48 kopecks per minute in Leningrad Oblast, and 45 kopecks per minute in Novgorod Oblast. National and international telephone communication services using universal payphones will be provided at telecommunication operators’ tariffs. A universal payphone may be used not only to call, but also to receive a free incoming call. The universal service phone cards will be sold NWT customer service centers.
North-West Telecom won the biddings for universal communication services virtually for the entire North-Western region of Russia (except for St. Petersburg). NWT General Manager V. A. Akulich noted that “North-West Telecom has a sufficient technological potential to provide the universal communication service in the Company’s business area. Meeting the bidding terms, we will provide all localities of the North-Western Federal District with universal payphone communication in a year or two. This is a challenging, socially important task that our Company undertakes understanding that communication services must be affordable to each Russian. Over 7,000 payphones will have to be installed under the biddings we won in 2006 alone. The expected universal service project implementation costs for the NWFD are about RUR 10 billion for 2006-2008”.