Eagle Mobile, the wireless arm of Albtelecom, has launched its GSM-based network in the capital Tirana, the second city of Durres and the country’s main international airport. According to TeleGeography’s Globalcomms database, Eagle Mobile was awarded Albania’s third wireless concession as long ago as March 2004. It immediately announced plans to roll out its network in the western lowland area of the country, but the long delays to the privatisation of parent Albtelecom meant that network rollout was postponed.
The arrival of a new Albtelecom shareholder in May 2007, in the form of the Turkish consortium CT Tel, backed by Calik Holdings Group (80%) and Turk Telekom (20%), mean that Eagle Mobile was able to bump-start deployment of its network. The newcomer will compete with the established duo of Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC), backed by Greece’s OTE, and British owned Vodafone Albania which between them claimed 2.32 million customers at the end of 2007.