Orange Tunisia has announced that its 3G network has carried its first call, at an event attended by government ministers and journalists. According to IT website Tekiano the official technical inauguration of the network meets the new operator’s obligation to have the network up and running within six months of obtaining its licence last August. The full commercial launch of the mobile network is expected in April. In the next stage of roll-out company employees will make use of a pilot service, followed by a commercial launch a few weeks later. According to the report the new network will offer video telephony, mobile TV via WAP and video surveillance services. Customers using 3G dongles will enjoy a download speeds of up to 1Mbps. The operator hopes to achieve network coverage of 98% of the population by the end of 2011. Discussions are also underway for Orange to secure the distribution licence for the Apple iPhone in Tunisia. On the broadband front, Orange Tunisie expects to start providing services by unbundling 61 Tunisie Telecom exchanges at the start of 2011, rising to 93 two years later. It will also operate an over a 400km fibre-optic backbone. Orange Tunisie plans to invest TND1 billion (USD717 million) by 2015 and to have over 1,500 employees by the end of 2010.