Opening price halved in mobile licence auction

The auction of the licence to operate what are called third generation - or UMTS - mobile phones is likely to bring in only half the sum the government had originally predicted. The three mobile phone operators in the Czech Republic said they would not pay the original opening price of six point seven billion crowns - it has now been reduced to three and a half billion crowns, or in the region of a hundred million US dollars. The auction opens on Friday and is due to close on December 7.