ARPT invites expressions of interest

12 December 2003
The post and telecom regulator, L'Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecommunications (ARPT), has invited expressions of interest by 19 January for three fixed-line licences. ARPT plans to tender the licences in late January and issue them in late April. Prospective bidders will be requested to submit one technical bid and up to three commercial bids. Award of the licences will be based on price alone.

Under the terms of the notice, only companies with more than three years of experience in fixed-line telephony, 100,000 subscribers and a market capitalisation of Eur 25 million ($31 million) are eligible to bid. UK-based Analysys is the strategic adviser to ARPT, while Canada's McCarthy Tetraultis the legal adviser.

The fixed-line licences will mark a new chapter in the liberalisation of the local telecoms sector. While the GSM sector has been opened to competition - Algeria's third GSM licence was recently awarded to Kuwait's National Mobiles Telecommunications Company (Wataniya)- the fixed-line network is monopolised by state-owned Algerie Telecom (MEED 5:12:03).

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