By David Ingham
Tunisia's second GSM operator signed up over a quarter of a million customers in its first six months of operation; breakeven is expected soon.
Tunisiana, Tunisia's second GSM operator, picked up more than a quarter of a million customers in its first six months of operation.The company, whicb switched on its network on December 27, 2002, had 251,656 'active' subscribers by the end of June 30, 2003.Tunisiana, 50% owned by Kuwait's Wataniya Telecom, reported revenue of KD7.1 million (US $23.7 million) and a post tax loss of KD1.5 (US $5.0 million) for the second quarter ending June 30.“Competition in the Tunisian market has clearly stimulated demand,” said Faisal Al Ayyar, chairman of Wataniya Telecom. “When we entered the market there were approximately 400,000 subscribers. Now, just six months after our successful launch of service, there are more than 1.1 million GSM subscribers in Tunisia. Tunisiana is EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] positive and we expect to break even soon.”Wataniya paid US $113.5 million in 2002 to acquire its 50% stake in the company.