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A new GSM operator in New Zealand: anytime?
Posted on 27-Jan-2004 19:54. | Tags Filed under: News.

Econet was established in New Zealand in 2000, backed by Zimbabwe-based Econet Wireless Limited. The company has operations around the African continent and the United Kingdom.

The company has originally entered into a partnership with New Zealand-based Hautaki Ltd and has access to both 2.5 and 3G spectrum blocks. Econet Wireless holds the 2.5G licence and the 3G is being held through commercial arrangements with Hautaki Ltd, which in turn holds its right to 3G spectrum on behalf of all Maori in New Zealand.

Allied Technology, Altech, and the Econet Wireless Group announced that they are joining forces to establish a new South African-based telecommunications company initially valued at approximately US$140 million.

The newly formed 50-50 joint venture between Altech and TSMI, (TSMI being the international investment company of the Masiyiwa family and the founders of the operations comprising the Econet Wireless Group), will ultimately take ownership and jointly control all current Econet Group assets, including operations in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Lesotho, Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

The new company will have a Board chaired by Altech and a management team led by Econet Wireless, together with Altech. The CEO of Altech, Craig Venter, said the Econet group had been identified as a compatible partner about two years ago and that he was delighted that agreement had finally been reached in a deal which would thrust the Altech group into being a true global player. "I have stated in the past that in order for Altech to continue to grow significantly, it would have to globalise," said Venter. "This venture is a perfect fit within our TMT and globalisation strategy as Econet is an ideal entry point for Altech into mobile network operations with its base of high-growth operations in Africa, and several exciting initiatives in other parts of the globe."

The assets affected by the transaction include Econet Wireless New Zealand.

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