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Orascom joins forces in Canadian deal

Middle East telecom giant joins consortium to deliver new wireless operator covering 26mn people.

Middle East mobile phone giant Orascom Telecom has announced its involvement in a consortium to deliver a new Canadian wireless operator.

The Cairo-based firm, one of the largest mobile phone operators in the Middle East, said on Tuesday the consortium had provisionally won AWS spectrum in Canada.

OT, which joined forces with Globallive Communications in the bid, said the new wireless operator was the "high bidder on spectrum across every region of Canada, with the exception of Quebec" with a population coverage of 26 million.

It said the total cost of the bid stood at approximately C$442 million following an auction starting in May initiated by the federal government to increase competition in Canada's wireless market.

Orascom Telecom said it was waiting for the final regulatory approval for the licence.