AFTER MAURITANIA, MAROC TELECOM BIDS FOR ALGERIAN MOBILE LICENCE

Telecoms

Maroc Telecom has got through to the pre-qualification stage of the bidding for Algeria’s third mobile licence, two years after the Government decided to open the market. According to the Algerian regulator ARPT bidders out of 10 have git through to the pre-qualification stage.

So Maroc Telecom is in 6th position ahead of the German telco Detecon and the Kuwaiti MTC. The list of pre-bidders is headed by another Kuwaiti company El Watania and also includes the Turkish-owned Turkcell and the South African MTN. Also on the list is French-owned Orange who lost out in the bidding for the second licence in July 2002 and Spanish operator Telefonica Moviles.

According to the estimates of industry sources, the third licence will be worth at least USD700 million, the equivalent of what the second licence went for. This second licence was won by Egyptian-owned Orascom Algérie Télécom which has now passed the million subscriber mark.

According to the tendering schedule a decision will be made by the earliest at the end of 2003 but the decision may be delayed into the beginning of 2004. Maroc Telecom owns 51% of Mauritel, the Mauritanian mobile operator.

Libération