Incumbent set to lose monopoly in May

15 Mar 2004

According to Interfax, Armenian mobile operator Armentel is to lose its monopoly on the provision of cellular and external internet access services on 31 May this year. The Justice Ministry said it amended the 15-year licence awarded in 1997, after Armentel violated its contractual obligations. The state thinks the cellco is failing to provide adequate service coverage and call quality and is not investing enough on rollout. The Armenian government is embroiled in a court battle with OTE of Greece which owns 90% of Armentel, over accusations that each has violated agreements. OTE paid USD142.47 million for its stake in 1997 and promised to invest USD200 million in its first five years.