Bahrain-based Bintel has been awarded a 15-year mobile licence by Artel, the telecommunications regulatory authority of Gabon. The company, which becomes the fourth mobile operator in the country, is expected to roll out its services in the third quarter of 2009.
With this award, Bintel estimates its initial investment in 2009 in Gabon to be in excess of USD 50 million. Under the agreement, the company is licensed to provide the latest voice and data services to customers in Gabon, including high-speed data and video conferencing. Following the licence acquisition, Bintel has appointed Gilles Villenaut as general manager for its Gabon operations.
Gabon has an estimated mobile penetration of about 90 percent, which is estimated to grow to 120 percent by 2011. According to Artel, Gabon currently has about 1.3 million mobile subscribers.
Zain's market share stands at about 58 percent, Gabon Telecom at 34 percent and Moov at 8 percent. Bintel is targeting a 6 to 8 percent share of the Gabon market within its first 12 months and a 30 percent share within its first 10 years.