France-based mobile operator Orange has been awarded a licence to launch a new mobile network in the Republic of Armenia.
It will be the third mobile network to set up in the country.
The Armenian government announced the licence yesterday after Orange submitted a formal licence bid of €51.5 million on 6th October.
This was far in excess of the Armenian government’s asking price - just €10 million.
The two other bidders in the race - British-Irish group CEO Blackrock Communications and Sweden-based Tele2 AB - offered €31.7 million and €45.6 million respectively.
A GSM and 3G network will now be launched in the country, with Orange winning the right to issue 055 and 095 dial codes.
As part of the licence agreement, Orange is required to invest at least €200 million in the network roll-out.
The Republic of Armenia has a population of three million, a third of which live in the capital, Yerevan.
Around 72% of the population already owns a mobile phone.