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Turkcell eyes Tunisian telecom market

Turkey’s leading mobile operator submits bid to run fixed and mobile services in Tunisia

Turkish mobile operator Turkcell has submitted a bid for a licence to provide fixed and mobile services, including 3G, in Tunisia.

The company, which made the announcement on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, said it had submitted a bid through a consortium including local partners in Tunisia.

Tunisia’s Ministry of Communication and Technology originally announced the opening of a license tender for the installation and management of a fixed and mobile network in December 2008 and intends to select a winner in the second quarter of 2009.

Turkcell is the only company to announce it has made a bid for the licence, and it is unknown whether it will be competing against any rival bids.

India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam had been rumoured to be considering a bid, although the claims were denied by a senior executive from the company, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

If Turkcell wins the licence it will gain entry to a country with a population of 10.5 million people and a mobile penetration rate of 83%.

The country’s mobile sector is currently divided between just two mobile operators; Tunisiana Telecom, which has a market share of 51%, and Tunisie Telecom, which has a 49% share of the market.

The country’s fixed sector also holds considerable growth potential. Tunisie Telecom is the only fixed operator in Tunisia, and fixed line penetration in the country was estimated to be just 10% as of August 2008.