Bahrain based mobile holding firm, Bintel has announced that it has been awarded a 15-year mobile operator license in Gabon - making it the fourth operator in the country. The company is expected to launch its network in the third quarter of 2009.
Bintel estimates its initial investment in 2009 in Gabon to be in excess of US$50 million. Bintel is targeting a 6 to 8% share of the Gabon market within its first 12 months and a 30% share within its first 10 years.
"Bintel is committed to redefining Gabon's telecommunications landscape by building a state-of-the-art mobile communications network and providing customers the most advanced mobile services," said Mr. Alawi Baroum, CEO of Bintel. "Bintel's entry into Gabon would further intensify competition in the highly liberalized domestic market, which would ultimately work to the advantage of end users who would have a wider portfolio of services to choose from and can also benefit from more competitive pricing."
According to figures from the Mobile World subscriber tracker, the country ended last September with an estimated 1.36 million mobile phone users - representing a population penetration level of 91%.
Gabon is more prosperous than most nearby countries, with a per capita income of four times the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. This is in large part due to offshore oil production.