Wataniya secures Algerian mobile licence

Kuwait-based mobile operator, Wataniya Telecom, has landed a licence to operate the third mobile network in Algeria.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  December 3, 2003

Kuwaiti mobile operator, Wataniya Telecom, has landed a licence to operator the third mobile network in Algeria.

The operator placed the highest bid of US$421 million for the licence, according to the Algerian post and telecoms regulator.

The move will put Wataniya up against the incumbent operator, Algeria Telecom, and Egypt-based Orascom, which paid US$737 million for Algeria's second mobile phone licence in 2002 and is the market leader with more than 1 million customers.

Other bidders for the licence were Spain's Telefonica Moviles and South Africa's MTN. Five other groups were shortlisted, including Wataniya's Kuwaiti counterpart, MTC-Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom's management consulting arm, DeTeCon, Orange, Moroccan incumbent, Maroc Telecom, and Turkish mobile operator, Turkcell.

There are estimated to be around 1.3 million mobile users in Algeria, out of a population of 32 million.

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