Tunisia’s Ministry of Communications Technologies and the Digital Economy (Ministere des Technologies de la Communication et de l’Economie Numerique, Mincom) has opened a tender for the award of three concessions to install and operate 4G networks. In order to be eligible to submit a bid, prospective participants must be active telecom providers (in Tunisia or elsewhere) with their own infrastructure and have been operational for at least five years. Operators have the option to bid individually or as part of a consortium with other investors. Interested parties must pay a non-refundable registration fee of either TND5,000 (USD2,508) or EUR2,500 (USD2,747) and sign a confidentiality agreement in order to access bidding documents. Registered bidders will then have until 24 November 2015 to submit any queries regarding the process, with responses due from Mincom by 4 December, and bidding is due to start on 1 February 2016. Mincom expects to complete the allocation process in late March 2016.
Details of the spectrum bands to be made available for the three licences were not made public, although TeleGeography notes that the National Telecommunications Authority (Instance Nationale des Telecommunications, INT) and the National Frequencies Agency (Agence Nationale Frequences, ANF) had previously identified the following bands as suitable for 4G: 450MHz, 800MHz, 1700MHz/2100MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz and 3400MHz-3600MHz. Further, as previously noted by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Mincom stated in September this year that an obligation to roll out coverage to remote areas would also be included in the 4G concessions.