Farewell to British Cable & Wireless [Archives:2004/700/Local News]

January 5 2004

A ceremony was held last week at the Ministry of Communication to formally declare the end of the contract between the Yemeni government and British Cable & Wireless in operating Teleyemen. The event was attended by the Minister of Communication Mr. Abdulmalik Al-Muallimi along with H.E. Frances Guy, the UK Ambassador to Yemen, who said “I feel that today is a sad day” indicating that the British company has been operating in Yemen for more than 135 years and indicated the company's history in Yemen, which started during the British colonial rule of the former south.
The contract ended after the two sides could not agree on the renewal terms. Mr. Al-Alimi had said that “the negotiations were tough and some disagreements and problems occurred. But after we referred to the original contract, we arrived to an excellent agreement.”
The company was originally established in 1998 to offer international calls and internet services. It was based on a 49% share owned by Yemen and 51% owned by the British company. The contract was renewed in 1999 for four more years, and was not renewed in 2003.
The government had decided that it would buy the shares of the company to own Teleyemen 100% and has also agreed to give the tender of operating the state-owned company to France Telecom, which will be managing it starting this year.