Mobitel urges no more mobile licences in Sudan


Sudanese mobile company Mobitel urged the government on Sunday not to issue a further mobile phone licence, saying a new competitor might force it to reconsider a $690 million expansion plan.

Khaled Muhtadi, chief executive of Mobitel, wholly owned by Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co. (MTC), told Reuters he had received reports that the country's telecoms regulator was preparing to issue another nationwide licence in the next 12 months.

"If we are going to get competition from yet another mobile operator then that limits our appetite in terms of spreading aggressively as we are," Muhtadi said. "We have shared our concerns with them. We have informed them [the decision] could backfire."

Sudan's mobile telecoms market grown greatly since a 2005 north-south peace deal ended Africa's longest civil war. Less than six % of Sudan's population had a mobile phone by the end of 2005, according to Jordan-based analysts the Arab Advisors Group. Just 18 months later, current market estimates range from 11 to 15 % and rising.

(Source: ITP)