Wireless network operator Tunisiana has been barred from bidding for the country’s third telecoms licence, which includes the right to provide fixed line services. Last week the country’s Ministry of Technologies and Communication (Infocom) launched an invitation to tender for a combined licence as part of a drive to boost inward investment and accelerate growth. ‘In order to open up the telecoms sector, Tunisia’s telecoms ministry has decided to award, via an international auction, a licence to install and exploit a public telecoms network and provide fixed line phone and 2G and 3G mobile phone services,’ a spokesperson for the ministry said in a statement. The licence is technology neutral, allowing the winner to choose any technology platform. Potential bidders should be either a telecoms network operator or a consortium comprising a telco. The operator must own its own infrastructure and must have held at least one fixed or wireless operating licence for at least two years or hold an operating licence in Tunisia. Interested parties must register their interest by purchasing tender documentation for USD4,400. Offers must be submitted no later than 5 May 2009, with the winner expected to be announced in the second quarter.