State-controlled Italian telecommunications company Stet SpA has been so dilatory in lining up international alliances that many of the plums have already gone, but the company’s bid of $700m for a 25% stake in its neighbor, Mobilkom Austria GmbH has been accepted. Mobilkom is the cellular telecommunications subsidiary of the national Austrian Post & Telekom Austria AG. No financial details of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, was given. Stet won a beauty contest with Tele Danmark A/S, Copenhagen, the Unicom division of Unisource NV alliance, Hoofdorp, and SBC Communications Corp, San Antonio, Texas. Mobilkom has some 400,000 subscribers, all digital. Its competition currently comes from max.mobil, held by a private consortium, but the government plans to award a third cellular telephone license this summer. Stet already has ineterests in cellular phone operations in Greece, France, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, India and China, and at home controls Telecom Italia Mobile SpA Europe’s largest cellular operator with market capitalization of $23bn and over 6 million subscribers – if the terrestrial network is bad enough, everyone signs for cellular.