The end of Tunisie Telecom’s monopolization of the Tunisian telecom sector drew one step closer, when Société de Banque Française et Internationale won the bid for a feasibility study into installation and operation the country’s second GSM mobile phone licensee.
To conduct its study, Société de Banque Française et Internationale, will be assisted by an international syndicate, which includes the New York-based legal firm White and Case, the telecom specialist Alexander Cyrus and a local firm of auditors. The results of the study should be published before the end of the first quarter of 2001.
Speaking to the Pan-African news service, Abderrahmane Haj Naceur, a representative of the French bank, confirmed that the Tunisian mobile phone market had already attracted the interest of "major international companies." Tunisia, he stated, is even more attractive a market than Morocco and Egypt, because of the size of its middle class, which has an annual per head income of $2,700.
Of Tunisia‘s 9.5-million population, a digital phone network currently serves about one million. The subscribers’ figure is expected to rise to 1.2 million before the end of 2001. The number of GSM users in the country is expected rise from the current 100,000 to 400,000 by the end of 2001. — (Albawaba-MEBG)