Etisalat calls up Sudan

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has acquired the licence to operate Sudan’s second nation-wide fixed line phone service. Etisalat-led Kanartel consortium made the approved bid at US$58.66 million.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  November 21, 2004

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that it has led the consortium that got the licence to operate Sudan’s second nationwide fixed line phone service. Etisalat-led Kanartel made the approved bid at US$58.66 million The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), Sudan’s regulatory authority, confirmed midweek that the Corporation-led Kanartel was selected over the two rival consortiums left in the competition and would begin operations within a year. The 40% Etisalat-owned consortium got the licence in the face of stiff competition from second round opponents Egyptian Telecom and Tamara, a grouping of Korean companies. The other interested operator consortiums dropped out after the first round of the tender and were not invited for negotiations. Kanartel secured the licence on the back of its imaginative and comprehensive technical plan, its cutting edge expertise and because it convinced the authorities of its serious commitment to developing communications in Sudan. This licence is a further significant achievement for an Etisalat-led consortium in a matter of months, following the Corporation’s recent success in landing the massive US$3.457 billion, second GSM licence in Saudi Arabia. The roll-out of Etisalat’s expansion strategy into Sudan through Kanartel consolidates its market leading position in the regional communications market. Mohammad Omran, Etisalat’s president and chief executive officer, says: “The second fixed line licence in Sudan is a huge success for our efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Sudan market has its own needs and requirements and our aim is to satisfy these. We believe the people of Sudan will welcome the element of choice and the contribution of Kanartel not only to communications in the country but also to the economy and to the employment opportunities available.” Etisalat will manage, operate and maintain the Kanartel network. The agreement is similarly structured to the deal put together by Etisalat Etitihad, the consortium that won the Saudi second GSM licence and Kanartel will see work created for 2,000 employees within a five-year plan. Besides its recent involvement in Saudi Arabia and now Sudan, the UAE government owned telecom operator also has shareholdings in regional operators such as Qatar Telecom (Qtel), Sudatel, Zantel, satellite–based telecoms service provider Thuraya and its international cable link to act as the regional hub for online services.

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