France Telecom won the tender announced by the Armenian government, calling for bids to enter the Armenian telecommunications market.
Surprisingly, no Russian bidders took part in the competition this time (Russia’s Beeline and MTS are the two mobile operators working in Armenia today). Three companies took part in the tender. Orange France offered to pay 51.5 million euros for the license, Swedish Tele2 AB with the 45.6 million euro offer and Ceo Blackrock Communication ( England and Ireland) with 31.66 million euro offer.
The highest bidder, France Telecom won, and if they successfully register an Armenian subsidiary by December 15, 2008, they’ll be given the official license to start providing mobile services in Armenia since January 2009 with the +374(0)55 and +374(0)95 moibile codes.
Moreover, seems like the Orange have started marketing research in Armenia to determine the possibility of providing mobile broadband services as well. A lady from a marketing research company (couldn’t recall the name) came to Internews office yesterday, asking for internet connectivity in Armenia, possible prices that a media organization would be interested in, etc., and said the research is commissioned by France Telecom. It is high time to think about mobile broadband in Armenia – Beeline’s 3G is here, but it doesn’t seem like the company is ready to take the technology mainstream and use it as a proper mobile broadband service. Competition from Orange, MTS (ok, call it Viva if you like) and Cornet’s wimax will hopefully force Beeline into this market as well.