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Qtel Tunisia unit wins 3G, fixed licences

Tunis, May 7, 2012

Qatar Telecom, the former state monopoly, said on Monday its Tunisian unit has received licenses to launch and operate a third-generation (3G) mobile network and a fixed-line network in the North African country for $135 million.

The 3G network will be launched in July 2012 and the fixed-line services at the beginning of 2013 by unit Tunisiana, Qtel said in a bourse statement.

A Qtel consortium had acquired Orascom Telecom Holding's 50- percent stake in Tunisiana last year. The other member of the consortium was Princesse Holding of Tunisia, a conglomerate controlled by Mohamed Sakher El Materi, the son-in-law of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian former president.

Tunisiana, the only private telecommunications company in the North African country of 10 million, is owned directly by Qtel.     

Qtel had planned to list Tunisiana on the Tunis stock exchange in the first half of 2011 but those plans were delayed after political turmoil in the country disrupted investment climate.   

Qtel has operations in a dozen countries and also owns majority stakes in Kuwait-based Wataniya and Oman's Nawras. - Reuters




Tags: Telecom | 3G | Qtel | Tunisia | fixed line | Tunisiana |

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