Investcom Holding, the Lebanese telecommunications holding company, has announced that its 55% owned wireless operation in Sudan – Bashair Telecommunications – has launched under the brand name Areeba. Beginning in Khartoum, the Areeba network will be rolled out across the country over the next three years, with network capacity expected to reach 750,000 by the end of 2005. Bashair was awarded a 15-year licence in October 2003 to build and operate a GSM mobile network in Sudan; it will compete with the wireless arm of the incumbent PTO Sudatel, Mobitel. At the end of May 2005 Investcom provided services to over 3.1 million mobile subscribers, operating GSM networks under the Areeba or Spacetel brands in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Syria and Yemen. The company operates under the Lonestar brand in Liberia.
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