Orascom Telecom signs Tunisian GSM license
The Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) confirmed that it had signed the 15-year license agreement with the Tunisian Government, under which OT’s local subsidiary, OT Tunisia, will operate the country’s second GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network.
OT, a leading telecommunications and Internet services operator in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent, won the tender on March 13, 2002, biding at a price of $454 million. The first of two equal installments was deposited in Citibank Tunisia to be transferred to the public Treasury.
The decree awarding OT Tunisia the country’s second GSM license is expected to be published within the next few days. According to the contract, OT will start offering its services within a maximum of six months and is planning to cover ten major cities during its first year of service.
OT Tunisia is a joint stock company with a fully subscribed and paid-in capital of $227 million. The company’s capital is expected to be increased by an amount of $23 million to reach $250 million before the end of 2002.
The 15 year license has favorable tax conditions and grants OT the right to operate its own international gateway starting from the launch of its operations while at the same time providing favorable interconnect conditions. It also provides OT with a four-year exclusivity period in offering GSM services along with Tunisie Telecom.
Tunisia’s 10-million population has so far been served by the first GSM network, run since 1996 by the state-owned Tunisie Telecom. With a limited capacity of 400,000 subscribers, more than 300,000 people are currently registered on the waiting list for the services of the second GSM network. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)