Lazarević: Digital dividends for sale by the end of the year 2014

State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications Stefan Lazarević said today that, after the completion of the digitalization process, the sale of digital dividends could begin by the end of 2014. The Republic of Serbia should receive about 100 million euros from that sale.

“All technical obstacles to the completion of the process have been eliminated”, said Lazarević at the Serbian Assembly during the second public hearing on “Digitalization – the rational use of the frequency spectrum”.

The State Secretary noted that after the completion of digitalization, certain parts of the radio frequency spectrum will be available, the so-called digital dividends, that will be allocated for the use of telecommunications operators through a public competition.

By the end of next week, we expect the completion of a study on the digital dividends that will showcase the best examples of European practices on their use; the study will be published by the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications.

“The telecommunications sector is very important for Serbia, since it accounts for 5.5% of the gross domestic product”, said Lazarević. It was pointed out that the development of broadband is crucial for economic development in the 21st century, and that our country needs a new strategy which will be discussed in detail at the public debate next week.

In Serbia, 56% of households have Internet access, which is still below the European average, but at the level of the countries in the region.

Lazarević added that compared to last year, the number of people who buy goods and services over the internet increased by 300,000.