Tunisie Telecom awarded 3G phone license

CIOL Bureau
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TUNISIA: Tunisia has sold a third-generation (3G) mobile telecoms license to state-owned operator Tunisie Telecom for about $80 million, putting it in competition with France Telecom's local unit, a government source said.


Last year, Tunisia's Telecommunications Ministry granted the northern African country's first 3G license to Orange Tunisie, in which France Telecom has a 49 percent stake with the rest owned by Tunisian firm Divona.

The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday it had granted the second 3G license to Tunisie Telecom. The operator is majority owned by the state while Dubai's TECOM Investments and Dubai Investment Group jointly hold 35 percent.

The statement did not give further details, but a government official who declined to be named told Reuters that Tunisie Telecom had paid 116 million Tunisian dinars ($80.22 million) for the license.


With 3G technology, users can surf the Internet faster and download music and data more easily to handsets, allowing operators to tap new revenue from data services.

Tunisia has one of the region's most developed economies. It has a population of 10.5 million people and mobile penetration of 90 percent.

Its third mobile operator is Tunisiana, a joint venture of Kuwait's National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya) and Egypt's Orascom Telecom