Monaco Telecom has signed a partnership agreement with Middle Eastern group BinTel, which operates mobile services in Gabon, Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic under the Azur brand, Jeune Afrique reports. Under the initial phase of the partnership, Monaco Telecom will assist in the revision of BinTel’s business plan and also help to raise funds for the company, while the second stage will involve cooperating in areas including marketing, network infrastructure and roaming for a period of three years. Through its partnership with Monaco Telecom, BinTel aims to achieve at least 20% market share in each of its operations by 2019.
Lebanon-based BinTel was founded by Mu’taz Sawwaf in 2006, as a telecoms offshoot of the Saudi BinLadin Group. Registered in Dubai in 2007, and initially headquartered in Bahrain, the company was set up with a view to acquiring and operating GSM providers across Africa. In 2007 it acquired NationLink in the Central African Republic, and in October 2009 BinTel successfully launched as the fourth mobile operator in Gabon under the brand name Azur. In December 2009 the company was awarded the fourth mobile licence in the Republic of Congo; Equateur Telecom Congo (Azur) went on to launch commercial services in September 2010.