Wataniya’s bid wins Palestinian licence

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By  Published  September 29, 2006

Kuwait’s national mobile telecom operator Wataniya International has been granted the second Palestinian mobile licence by the Palestinian ministry of telecommunications and information technology.

Wataniya was declared the highest bidder for the licence after offering US$355million as an upfront licence payment to install and operate a 2G/3G mobile network and establish the second Palestinian mobile telecoms service in Palestine.

The telecom firm said in a release that it has now begun negotiations to finalise the licence terms and to agree on the frequencies required to operate the network. It plans to establish a new company in Palestine, which will be 40% owned by Wataniya, with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) also owning a 30% stake.

The remaining stake will be offered to the general public.

“We are grateful for the confidence of the Palestinian National Authority in proceeding with this privatisation process,” said Faisal Al-Ayyar, chairman of Wataniya International.

“Wataniya has a proven track record at the greenfield level, building and operating world class networks and delivering innovative services in discerning markets,” he added.

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