Emirates telecoms company, Etisalat, will soon form a new company with its consortium partners in Sudan, and plans to invest US$200mn (Dh734mn) in the first two years as part of its services rollout.
The Etisalat-led Kanartel consortium that won a licence to operate Sudan’s second fixed line phone network will start services after the second half next year. “We are forming a new company with the other partners and these things are being finalised right now,” says Mohammad Omran, Etisalat’s president and chief executive.
Omran declined to name the consortium partners but said they are from the UAE and Sudan.
Due to the size of the country and the current low penetration rate, Etisalat will be investing substantially as it rolls out its services. “We expect to invest about US$200mn in the first two years and the investments will go higher as we expand the network further,” he adds.
Etisalat will move swiftly ahead in setting up a company to put its plan of action into force.
Operations are expected to start well before the next 12 months.
“We will deploy different kinds of technology, including the satellite technology of Thuraya and wireless, to serve the large population of Sudan.”
It is unclear at this point whether the Etisalat-led consortium is required to pass on some revenues to the government there but Omran said that one of the conditions for the licencee is to provide services in rural areas of Sudan.
“We are well-positioned to provide such services because we can use Thuraya to offer various solutions in telecommunications.”