Armenia confident its needs second telecom operator

Prime-Tass English-language Business Newswire
July 13, 2004

Armenia confident its needs second telecom operator

YEREVAN, July 13 (Prime-Tass) — The Armenian government is confident
that a second cell phone operator will enter the Armenian
telecommunications market, Armenia’s Justice Minister David
Arutyunyan told reporters Tuesday.

The Armenian government is currently holding talks with the Greece’
Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and domestic ArmenTel on the
issue, Arutyunyan said.

He noted that the arbitration process regarding the ArmenTel case is
still underway and would only be stopped if the negotiations yielded
positive results.

But the introduction of a second telecom operator to the Armenian
market would not necessarily resolve the situation, considering the
fact that ArmenTel controls Armenian fixed-line networks, Arutyunyan

He also expressed hope that the talks to resolve the dispute between
the government and ArmenTel would prove successful.

On February 19, the government decided to make changes to ArmenTel’s
license due to the company’s alleged violation of the license’s

The amendments to the license were expected to come into force on
June 30.

The London arbitration court is currently hearing two suits, the
Armenian government vs the OTE, and ArmenTel vs the Armenian

In 1997 OTE paid U.S. USD 142.470 million to gain control of the 90%
stake in ArmenTel that was formerly held both by the Armenian
government with a 41% stake and Trans World Telecom with 49%.

ArmenTel was granted the right to a monopoly for 15 years, according
to the agreement.

On September 8, 2003, the government decided to deprive ArmenTel of
its monopoly license, but the decision has not yet been enforced due
to the ongoing lawsuits against the company. End
From: Baghdasarian