Wataniya Palestine to launch mobile phone services in West Bank and Gaza

29 July 2008
The Israeli government has released the spectrum that will enable mobile phone operator Wataniya Palestine to launch its services in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Israeli authorities had delayed the allocation of spectrum to the West Bank's second mobile phone licence holder for more than 18 months.

Wataniya Palestine won a competitive auction for the licence in December 2006 with a bid of JD251m ($354m) that has yet to be paid to the Palestinian National Authority.

Wataniya Palestine, which is 57 per cent owned by Wataniya of Kuwait, will now pay the licence fee to the Palestinian National Authority.

The authority's sovereign wealth fund, the Palestine Investment Fund, owns the remaining 43 per cent of Wataniya Palestine.

The second operator is expected to launch its services before the end of this year.

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