Wataniya inks deal with PIF for mobile operations in Palestine

Wataniya International has announced the terms under which it will set up its new mobile operations in Palestine.

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By  Published  December 23, 2006

Wataniya International has announced the terms under which it will set up its new mobile operations in Palestine. The firm has signed an agreement with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) to set up mobile operations in Palestine, having won the licence to build the second mobile telecommunication service in the country in September. The firm offered US$355million as an upfront licence payment to install and operate a 2G/3G mobile network and establish the second Palestinian mobile telecoms service. Under the terms of the agreement, Wataniya will have the controlling stake with 40% of the company, PIF will own 30%, while the remainder will be offered to the Palestinian public through an IPO. “We are proud to partner with the Palestine Investment Fund. Together, we will build a national asset that will enhance the lives of users, businesses and investors alike through the provision of communication services that will deliver high quality customer and employee experiences,” Faisal Al Ayyar, chairman of Wataniya International, said in a statement. The licence will authorise the building and operating of a GSM network and provide public mobile voice and data services in Palestine. It will also give the company the right to establish and operate a 3G network and to provide international telecommunications services. “The growth potential of the telecommunications sector in Palestine, supported by its liberalisation and reform, presents a highly attractive business opportunity,” commented Dr Mohamed Mustafa, general manager of the PIF. “By being part of the new company, we will work with our partners at Wataniya International to ensure this sector optimises its contribution to the Palestinian economy and delivers to the level of the expectations of the Palestinian users and investors alike,” he added. Wataniya and PIF said they would announce the name of the new company, which will compete against existing operator Jawwal, and the composition of its board in the near future.

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