Bahrain-based Bintel wins Gabon mobile licence


Bahrain-based Bintel has been awarded a 15-year mobile licence by Artel, the telecommunications regulatory authority of Gabon. The company, which becomes the fourth mobile telecom operator in the country, is expected to roll out its services in the third quarter of 2009.

With this award, Bintel estimates its initial investment in 2009 in Gabon to be in excess of $50 million. Under the agreement, the company is licensed to provide the latest voice and data services to customers in Gabon, including high speed data and video conferencing.

Following the license acquisition, Bintel has appointed industry veteran Gilles Villenaut as general manager for its Gabon operations. “Bintel’s entry into Gabon would further intensify competition in the highly liberalised domestic market, which would ultimately work to the advantage of end users who would have a wider portfolio of services to choose from and can also benefit from more competitive pricing,” said Alawi Baroum, chief executive of Bintel.

Gabon has an estimated mobile penetration of about 90 per cent, which is estimated to grow to 120 per cent by 2011. According to Artel, Gabon currently has about 1.3 million mobile subscribers. Zain’s market share stands at about 58 per cent, Gabon Telecom at 34 per cent and Moov at 8 per cent. Bintel is targeting a 6 to 8 per cent share of the Gabon market within its first 12 months and a 30 per cent share within its first 10 years.

TradeArabia News Service