Businessman Andrey Chikalenko announced that his company, Infinity Telecom, will withdraw from the selection process for operators of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting networks. Chikalenko will also cease efforts to acquire licenses for Radio Context and Radio Flex.
The decision to exit the DAB+ auction was explained by "certain media reports highlighting the entrepreneur's Russian roots". Whereas in other over-the-limit selection procedures, firms with Russian owners face hurdles due to the Ukraine conflict, this is not the case for tenders according to the Electronic Communications Act.
According to Televizní web, which highlighted Infinity Telecom's participation, the Security Information Service (BIS) has taken an interest in the frequency auction participants, particularly in collaboration with other security forces like Cybernetic Forces and Military Intelligence.
Chikalenko denied any risks posed by his company, distancing himself from Putin's policies and the war campaign in Ukraine. He no longer has any business activities or assets in his home country. The company's spokesperson mentioned employing collaborators of various nationalities, including those who fled from war.
The DAB+ frequency auction was scheduled to begin on October 10. However, the Czech Telecommunication Office is addressing technical issues with the electronic auction software and needs to complete the auction testing. The delay is deemed to be minor.