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ROMANIA HAILS 2ND GSM CARRIER

Mobil Rom, a consortium led by France Telecom Group, launched Global System for Mobile communications digital cellular services in Romania.

Called Dialog GSM, the service already is in high demand, according to foreign press.

France Telecom owns a 51-percent stake in Mobil Rom, which received one of two GSM licenses last November. MobiFon, Romania’s other GSM operator, began its Connex GSM service in April, with service in Bucharest and seven other major cities. The consortium is led by Telesystem International Wireless of Canada and AirTouch International.

Press in Bucharest reported that Mobil Rom already has signed up 8,000 customers among Romania’s eight major markets and roads connecting them. Mobil Rom plans to cover all cities with populations greater than 100,000 and all main national roads by the end of the year. Mobil Rom expects to sign on more than 1.3 million subscribers by 2006, said France Telecom.

MobiFon said it expects to cover most of the country’s 23 million people by the end of 1997.

Currently, Romania’s penetration rate is about 12 percent.

Media Pro holds 30 percent in Mobil Rom, Computer Land owns 10 percent, Tomen Telecom Romania holds 6 percent and Alcatel Network Systems Inc. owns a 3 percent stake.

TIW holds a 60-percent stake in MobiFon, and is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, finance and administration. AirTouch, which holds a 10-percent interest, serves as a technical partner and is responsible for network design and operation.

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