The ministry will open the bids Monday.
Mobifon is majority owned by Canada's Telesystem International Wireless Inc. (IWI.XX), and Orange Romania is majority owned by France Telecom's (13330.FR) mobile arm, Orange.
Mobifon and Orange are the country's main mobile operators, offering Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM, services. Romania, with a population of 21.5 million, has four mobile telephony providers, with a total of about 8.3 million subscribers.
The government said earlier that it expects to decide on granting the 15-year licenses, of which at least one must be for a Universal Mobile Telephone System, or UMTS, service, in the first half of November.
Each winner will have to pay about $35 million for one license. It will pay $10.5 million four months after the tender concludes and the rest in five annual tranches of $4.9 million each.
Romania's decision to launch the tender for 3G licenses follows a similar move by neighboring Hungary in August, which also offered four mobile licenses.
In contrast to Romania, where the license price is already set, Hungary is organizing a tender to award the licenses. One of the Hungarian licenses, however, will be sold on condition that the winner share its sales revenue with the state.
The deadline to submit bids in Hungary is Nov. 2.
According to Hungarian officials, 10 companies have bought tender documents so far. They include Hungary's current mobile service providers: T-Mobile Hungary Rt., a unit of Matav Rt. (MTA), which is 54%-owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (DT); Pannon GSM Rt., a unit of Norway's Telenor ASA (TELN), and the British Vodafone Group PLC's (VOD) Hungarian unit.
-By Cristi Cretzan; Dow Jones Newswires; (4021) 210-8197; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires"
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