Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mobile free-for-all

This from Wireless News:

Alfa, the mobile operator, announced that it is keeping on strengthening its network in all Lebanon by installing 16 new transmissions Stations. Including two transmission stations in Tripoli, and a transmitter each for Batroun, Achrafieh, Tal Zaatar, New Rawda, Soujoud (Jezzine Caza), Tamich and Shyah (Karout Mall).

Alfa is the brand name of one of the two state mobile networks. Alfa is managed by Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) starting February 1, 2009. Orascom is an international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, having a total population under license of approximately 453 million with an average mobile telephony penetration of approximately 46 percent.

Orascom Telecom operates GSM networks in Algeria (”OTA”), Pakistan (”Mobilink”), Egypt (”Mobinil”), Tunisia (”Tunisiana”), Bangladesh (”banglalink”), Zimbabwe (”Telecel Zimbabwe”), and North Korea (”Koryolink”).

Through its subsidiary Telecel Globe, OTH also operates in Burundi, the Central African Republic and Namibia. Orascom Telecom had over 79 million subscribers as of September 30th, 2008.

Orascom Telecom is traded on the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchange under the symbol (ORTE.CA, ORAT EY), and on the London Stock Exchange its GDR is traded under the symbol (ORTEq.L, OTLD LI).

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But according to India's Economic Times:

Telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, BSNL and MTNL are looking to bid for licences and buy telecom companies in Syria and Lebanon.

Last week, the Syrian government announced that it would soon put up the country’s third mobile licence for auction. Besides, it also wants to privatise state-owned Syria Tel Mobile Telecom.

Similarly, Lebanon has two state-owned mobile companies and its government has announced that it wants to privatise both the companies.

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While Reuters reports that:

Emirates Telecommunications Corp ETEL.AD (Etisalat) posted on Monday a 4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit and said it was interested in bidding for telephone licences in Syria and Lebanon.

Etisalat said in a statement it was on the lookout for investment opportunities and seeking to grow in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

"Etisalat is working through a conservative policy to search for investment opportunities that might emerge as a result of the global crisis," said Chairman Mohammed Omran.

"We will continue to observe and study various markets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa since they are high density."

"Etisalat has a great interest in competing for the licences available in Syria and Lebanon once they are officially put to bid."

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