Under the terms of the prequalification notice, only companies with at least three years of experience in mobile telephony, 1 million subscribers and market capitalisation of $2,000 million were eligible. A consortium headed by Rothschild (Paris), including legal advisers Coudert Brothers and technical consultant ICEA, advised the government (MEED 14:11:03).

Wataniya signalled its regional intentions in October 2002 when it acquired a 50 per cent stake in Tunisia’s second GSM licence.