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Mon 15 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

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Tunisiana claims 3 million subscribers

Despite the operational success being enjoyed by Tunisiana, a cloud still looms over the operator given an announcement made by fellow 50% shareholder Orascom Telecom in May last year that it would file a request for arbitration against Wataniya Telecom.

Kuwait’s Wataniya Telecom has announced that its commercial operation in Tunisia, under the brand name Tunisiana, has surpassed the 3 million subscriber-mark.

Tunisiana has an advanced network covering 99% of the country’s 10 million inhabitants. The operator enjoys a 47% market share, with more than 400 sales points across Tunisia, and has roaming, GPRS and MMS agreements with more than 287 operators globally.

“Since our 50% acquisition of Tunisiana in 2002, the company has experienced successful years of operations placing it at the forefront of the telecoms industry in Tunisia,” said Ahmad Haleem, CEO of Wataniya International.

Despite the operational success being enjoyed by Tunisiana, a cloud still looms over the operator given an announcement made by fellow 50% shareholder Orascom Telecom in May last year that it would file a request for arbitration against Wataniya Telecom to enforce what it claimed to be a contractual right to acquire Wataniya’s 50% stake in Tunisiana.

Orascom sold a 50% stake of Tunisiana to Wataniya in October 2002 for US$113.5 million, and Orascom last year stated that it had been unable to reach an amicable resolution of its claim that Wataniya had materially breached an agreement.

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