Nytex

NIGER COURTS BIDS FOR TWO 3G PHONE LICENCES 

Niger's communications ministry said it wanted to establish a 3G mobile phone network and was inviting firms to apply for the landlocked west African country's first two licences.

"These licences can go to any operator who desires them," according to a statement on state TV. "Operators already set up here and who have global licences also have a chance to acquire one."
Bharti Airtel , Atlantique Telecom's Moov, France Telecom's Orange, and state-owned SahelCom are the main telecoms operators in Niger, and all have benefited from a surge in mobile phone use in recent years.

Orange currently offers a Blackberry service, but no operator offers the high speed data services associated with 3G.
While Niger's 16 million inhabitants share just 20,000 fixed lines, mobile phone use is estimated at around 2.5 million.

Last month, Niger revoked a deal to sell Libya's LAP Green Network a majority stake in national telecoms operator Sonitel and its mobile arm, saying the firm had not respected terms of the transaction.

Source: Reuters