The Kyrgyz government has approved a decision to put 77.8% of the country’s state-owned telco Kyrgyz Telecom up for sale. According to a spokesperson from the Kyrgyz Committee for State Property Management, the sale is expected to raise in excess of USD20 million. The government first announced a tender for a 51% stake in the telco in June 2003, with Swedish consortium Swedtel winning the process with a bid of USD15.6 million. However, Swedtel failed to pay and the process was cancelled the following year. Kyrgyz Telecom, which also owns a GSM licence but has not yet launched mobile services, claimed around 400,000 customers at the end of 2005.