National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait. In March 2007, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) acquired 51 percent of Wataniya Telecom shares from Kuwait Projects Company Holding (KIPCO) group.
Wataniya has been a force in increasing the mobile market penetration in Kuwait (which currently stands at over 93 percent) and has expanded into the MENA & Asia regions, driving operations in Kuwait, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and in 2007 in Palestine.
Wataniya Telecom’s first investment outside Kuwait was in 2002, with the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the Tunisian operator Tunisiana. The regional expansion was followed in 2003 when it won a licence to operate a mobile network in Algeria.
Earlier this month, the company unveiled its Maxpress initiative, allowing customers to use their monthly usage to earn additional credits which can be used the following month.