ARMENTEL GETS PREPARED FOR EMERGENCE OF A RIVAL COMPANY

ArmenPress
Sept 3 2004

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS: Out of $106.3 million investments
to Armenia's economy in the first half of 2004 $41.5 million were made
by ArmenTel telephone operator in the telecommunications sector. Some
$21 million of this money were direct investments.

According to deputy trade and economic development minister Tigran
Davtian, ArmenTel's investment this year were 41 percent higher
than in 2003. He attributed the increase to the operator's plans
to get prepared for emergence of a rival company which is likely to
enter the mobile phone market next year in line with the government's
resolute to strip ArmenTel of its exclusive rights in cellular phone
and Internet markets.

The deputy minister also said that $2 or $3 million were invested
in the same time span in Armenia's information technology sector.
"Though this is not a big figure, this sector allows good returns
on small investments," he said, adding that the sector is being now
diversified and unlike some years ago when the main focus was on
programming and orders used to come from abroad, now there are new
development directions.

The deputy minister said a delegation of Intel company, one of the
leading manufacturers of computer processors, is coming to Armenia on
September 14 to look into possibilities of starting a business here.
He reiterated that liberalization of telecommunications market would
result in a swift development of the sector.