CORRECTED-Zain Sudan in telco licence talks with South Sudan-MD

Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:43am GMT

(Corrects July 12 story to show Zain is in talks over licence fee, not obtaining new licence. Conforms throughout.)

* Zain Sudan says business as usual in newly-independent South

* Carrier in talks with South Sudan govt over telco licence fees

* South Sudan provides only 6 pct of Zain Sudan's revenues

By Matt Smith

DUBAI, July 12 (Reuters) - Telecoms carrier Zain Sudan is in talks with South Sudan to pay a fee to extend its Sudan licence to the newly independent country, the firm's managing director said on Tuesday.

South Sudan seceded from the north on Saturday, the culmination of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

Zain Sudan, a unit of Kuwait's Zain and one of three mobile telecoms carriers licensed from Khartoum, will continue to operate in the South as usual until new licence fees are agreed, managing director Elfatih Erwa told Reuters.

Erwa ruled out asking north Sudan to refund some its estimated 200 million euros licence fee to offset the cost. The firm will split its Sudan operations after South Sudan obtains an international dialling code.   Continued...

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