Orange and Investec, a Tunisian subsidiary of the Mabrouk group, have announced the launch of mobile, fixed and internet services by Orange Tunisia, making it the country’s first truly convergent telecoms operator. The partnership represents an important step forward for France Telecom-Orange – which holds 49% of the company – and its development in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Indeed, the start-up of Orange’s activities in Tunisia marks the group’s first steps into Maghreb (North Africa). Commenting on the launch, Didier Lombard said: ‘Today, Orange is proud to associate itself with Marwan Mabrouk to build Tunisia’s first genuine convergent telecoms operator. I have full confidence in this kind of partnership, which brings together a strong local actor with a global operator. Together we are committed to a project that will transform the Tunisian telecommunications market, and which in turn will help the country on its way to joining the world’s most competitive economies. Our commitment to this partnership also enjoys a particular intensity thanks to the historic, cultural and economic ties that traditionally exist between France and Tunisia.’
The launch of Orange Tunisia has been eagerly awaited ever since it secured the country’s second national operating licence in June 2009. Orange Tunisia says it will invest TND1 billion (EUR500 million) to launch operations and install the country’s first 3G network. The W-CDMA-based network covers the majority of Tunisia’s major cities and will be expanded throughout 2010.