A $454 million bid, submitted by the Cairo-based Middle East telecommunications conglomerate Orascom Telecom (OT), has won the tender issued by the Tunisian government to operate the country’s second GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) license.
The 15-year license stipulates that the OT-led consortium will enjoy four years of exclusivity operations in the Tunisian market. The network is expected to be launched into operation by October 2002.
OT holds a 35 percent interest in the winning consortium, with its stake in the license worth $50 million. The remaining $404 million are reportedly to be financed by various Tunisian and Arab financial institutions. Half of the total amount will be handed to the Tunisian government upon the signing the contract, whereas the remaining sum will be transferred by year’s-end, reported Al-Alam Al-Yaum .
Tunisia’s 9.6 million strong population averaged a GDP per Capita of $2,084 in 2001. Tunisia Telecom services 920,000 fixed lines subscribers, while the North African country reached a fixed line penetration of 9.6 percent. Cellular subscribers amount to 350,000, with mobile phone penetration reaching 3.7 percent in 2001, according to ITU & Cellular News. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )