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TeleYemen looks for overseas partners

TeleYemen could link up with France Telecom and Jordan Telecom to improve its access to international bandwidth.

TeleYemen could link up with France Telecom and Jordan Telecom to improve its access to international bandwidth.

The international gateway provider aims to open new overseas routes as part of preparations for next generation network (NGN) deployment.

“We need to optimise our bandwidth supply,” says Romolo Speranza, TeleYemen’s CEO.

“We are examining France Telecom’s open transit offering as well as other options,” he adds.

Speranza says that meetings with France Telecom took place recently regarding the global operator’s wholesale services.

TeleYemen is also considering the creation of a link to Jordan through Saudi Arabia.

A decision should be taken later this year, he adds.

A deal with either operator would allow the provider to take advantage of close business ties.

France Telecom owns a 40% share in Jordan Telecom and took over the management of TeleYemen earlier this year.

The move also forms part of a wider review of TeleYemen’s infrastructure and operations in advance of a possible sell-off, says Speranza.

The provider is now 100% state-owned after Cable and Wireless sold its 51% stake in the firm to Yemen’s national telco, PTC, in 2003.

“The purchase of the 100% stake by PTC might appear to be a step backwards but [there is a] programme to offer a stake to another partner to keep TeleYemen as a joint stock company,” says Speranza.

Since France Telecom took over, Speranza says that a particular onus has been placed on improving TeleYemen’s marketing strategy.

It recently rebalanced an outdated tariff structure, reducing outgoing voice rates which were creating a disincentive for Yemenis to make international calls.

The operator is also re-considering the method by which it connects to Yemen’s national network and whether to implement IP technology in a bid to cut costs.

“We’re looking [to launch] NGN, hopefully in 2005,” says Speranza.

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