Posts filed under ‘Orascom Telecom’

Koryolink attracts 6,000 3G applications in first fortnight (North Korea)

North Korea’s first 3G network operator, Koryolink, has attracted 6,000 applications within its first two weeks of operation, according to The Industry Standard. The cellco, which began accepting applications in January 2009, is owned by Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt (75%) and state-owned Korea Post and Telecoms Corporation (25%). Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, said ‘So far we have about 6,000 applications. The important point is that they are normal citizens, not the privileged or military generals or party higher-ups. For the first time they have been able to go to a shop and get a mobile phone.’ However, the government has placed a large tax on handsets, bringing the cost up to USD600, making it difficult for most of the population to afford. Orascom is apparently in talks with the government to reduce this tax.

North Korea has had a rather checkered history with mobile phones. In 2003 a GSM network was established in Pyongyang and other major cities and was generally available to elite members of society. However, access was restricted heavily in 2004 shortly after a bomb thought to be triggered by a mobile phone exploded in a train depot within hours of the passage of a train carrying leader Kim Jong II. When questioned about Orascom’s operations in the notoriously secretive country, Sawiris said, ‘We are always examining the countries that do not have service and always pushing to get in. This was one that did not have coverage and we met the embassy here, got in touch with authorities, and here we are.’

Wireless Industry News


February 5, 2009 at 18:30 Leave a comment

Telecel outlines ambitions for Cell One (Namibia)

Telecel Globe, a subsidiary of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, has announced its objectives to develop the mobile network of its newly acquired Namibian subsidiary Cell One by ‘investing hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars, expanding network coverage to reach 90% to 95% of the population in one and a half years, and doubling retail presence over the next year.’ Telecel bought 2G/3G cellco Powercom (trading as Cell One) for around USD59 million earlier this month, from a consortium including Norway’s Telenor.

Wireless Industry News

February 2, 2009 at 18:15 Leave a comment

Buyer found for Lacom (Algeria)

Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt have reached agreement in principle with Dubai based VTEL Holdings Ltd for the sale of Lacom. The two Egyptian companies each own 50% the second national operator (SNO), which was officially dissolved in November 2008. 

The Regulatory Authority of Post and Telecommunications (ARPT) will perform an audit on Lacom before authorising its sale, paying particular attention to Lacom’s non-compliance with the obligations of its licence award. Penalties will be charged for the SNO’s inability to meet the requirement to provide national coverage with its network. The level of penalties charged is likely to be decisive in determining the sale price. 

VTEL Holdings is already present in Algeria through three subsidiaries: the ISP Anwarnet, internet and SMS service provider Noornet and Watanserv, a telecoms infrastructure company. 

Wireless Industry News

January 30, 2009 at 16:32 Leave a comment


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