Zain in Talks with Palestinian Telecoms Operator
Published on: 28th Jan 2009
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Kuwait based Zain has said that it is in talks to partner with the monopoly telecoms operator in the Palestinian Territories, PalTel, which also operates a mobile network under the Jawwal brand name.
"We are in advanced talks and could conclude a deal soon," a Zain spokesman told the Reuters news agency, declining to say if Zain wanted to buy a majority stake as it usually does when entering new markets.
The Palestinian Securities Exchange said in a statement it had suspended trading on Paltel at Paltel's request until the merger was completed.
A second mobile network, Wataniya Palestine was licensed in 2006, but has had problems securing the necessary radio spectrum to launch its network. Wataniya International has established a new company in Palestine which is 40% owned by Wataniya International, 30% will be offered to the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and 30% owned by the general population through an IPO.
The Mobile World subscriber database notes that the incumbent operator, Jawwal is estimated to have just over 1 million subscribers. Within the Palestinian Territories though, some 1.7 million mobile phones are in use. This is due to the Israeli networks "leaking" over the borders and providing service to Palestinians.