Telecoms/Comms

The latest Iraqi news on developments and opportunities in communications and media from Iraq Business News

3G Should Bolster Telco Revenues

3G Should Bolster Telco Revenues

By John Lee.

A telecommunications analyst has said that the recent launch of 3G services in Iraq should stabilize the revenue and profit of Iraq’s mobile phone operators this year, following the difficulties caused by the war against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).

Omar Maher of EFG Hermes told Reuters that 2016 could see high single-digit revenue growth, adding:

Political uncertainty makes it very difficult to give an accurate or reasonable outlook for the telecom operators, but they appeared to underestimate the possibility of service disruptions from conflict in the country.”

“The conflict looks like it will continue for some time, so parts of their networks are likely to remain non-operational in 2015.”

(Source: Reuters)

(Smart phone image via Shutterstock)

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EarthLink chooses Level 3

EarthLink chooses Level 3

Level 3 Communications has announced it has been selected by internet and communication solutions provider, EarthLink Telecommunications — the largest Internet Service Provider in Iraq — to provide the secure global connectivity needed to support enterprise customers from EarthLink’s Middle East location.

EarthLink’s 400-plus points of presence enable its customers to communicate in its local market. Yet the company faced the challenge of an ever-increasing demand for enhanced online security and connectivity to worldwide markets, particularly from customers in key local business sectors such as the financial services and oil industries.

To meet the needs of its enterprise customers, EarthLink turned to Level 3’s MPLS/IP VPN (Multiprotocol Label Switching/Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network) services to deliver the necessary secure, private connectivity.

As a direct result of EarthLink’s ability to provide Level 3’s services to both its wholesale and enterprise customers, the Internet provider has already signed a new contract with one of the region’s major oil and gas companies.

Sarmad Hassan, Chief Executive Officer, EarthLink Telecommunications, said:

“Working with Level 3 gives us the ability to provide customers with a one-stop shop for connectivity services. We can therefore provide them with secure, robust and reliable network connectivity on a worldwide basis, while helping them to reduce costs.”

Andrew Crouch, Regional President, EMEA, Level 3, added:

As part of our mission of connecting and protecting the networked world, we deliver the services that are needed and where they are needed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

“Working with organizations such as EarthLink, which impressed us with its local footprint, is another piece in the jigsaw in Level 3’s mission of connecting different locations across the world to serve customers.

(Source: Earthlink)

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NYNEX Extends Broadband Coverage

NYNEX Extends Broadband Coverage

NYNEX satellite OHG, a leading VSAT systems operator and integrator, has grown its capacity contract with Avanti Communications to extend satellite broadband coverage across Iraq and Syria.

Following the successful deployment to Afghanistan and Libya over the last two years via Avanti’s HYLAS 2 satellite, the latest contract extension will enable NYNEX to target professional customers such as Iraq’s Oil and Gas industry, enterprise and government customers with a new outstanding satellite broadband offering.

Andreas Buxbaum, Managing Director and co-founder at NYNEX, commented:

We take great pride in providing innovative solutions using the latest in satellite technology, and we are very pleased to grow our KA-band service and to show our commitment in the Middle East region.

“Powered by Avanti’s HYLAS 2 KA-band satellite and latest iDirect VSAT technology, our new KA-band service will provide high-quality, adaptive broadband packages to meet the demands of enterprise and government customers in Iraq and Syria.

“Resellers and professional ISPs are also welcome to take advantage of our sophisticated monitoring tool, outstanding IP-engineering and VNO solutions to extend also their own product portfolio.

(Source: NYNEX)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Telecoms/Comms5 Comments

Iraq Leads World in Porn Websites

Iraq Leads World in Porn Websites

By John Lee.

A study by online traffic analysts has found that Iraq hosts the world’s highest percentage of pornographic websites.

Joint research by Similarweb and The Next Web shows that around 11 percent of sites in the country are X-rated, with Egypt coming in second place with 9 percent, followed by Serbia and Japan on 7 percent.

According to the report from Metro News, Britain and the US don’t even feature in the top 20.

(Source: Metro News)

(Pornography image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Telecoms/Comms4 Comments

Court Dismisses $4.5bn Claim Against Zain

Court Dismisses $4.5bn Claim Against Zain

By John Lee.

An Iraqi court has reportedly rejected a $4.5-billion (5.4 trillion Iraqi dinar) lawsuit against Zain.

The case centers around Zain’s $1.2-billion acquisition of Iraqna from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom in December 2007, after the Egyptian company dropped out of the running for a long-term mobile licence.

According to Reuters, the Kuwaiti firm then merged its Iraqi unit, Atheer, with Iraqna and renamed the entity Zain Iraq.

The unnamed claimants, understood to be shareholders in rival mobile operator Korek, filed a lawsuit last year claiming that Zain’s takeover had stopped the firm buying Iraqna, causing it losses of $4.5 billion.

The court also dismissed the applicants’ right to appeal.

In a separate judgment, a court also imposed a fine of $100 million on Zain Iraq for using a range of mobile phone numbers without the telecom regulator’s permission; Zain can still appeal against this penalty.

(Source: Reuters)

(Court image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Telecoms/Comms5 Comments

Asiacell: Customers Up, Profits Down

Asiacell: Customers Up, Profits Down

By John Lee.

Qatar-based Ooredoo has reported that its Iraqi subsidiary, Asiacell, substantially grew its customers during the year, increasing by 15% to 12.3 million compared to 10.7 million at FY 2013.

In its 2014 Full Year Results, it said Asiacell faced the challenge of the growing security issue in the country during the year, in addition to the heightened levels of competition in the market.

Consequently, revenue for FY 2014 was QAR 6,298 million (FY 2013: QAR 7,071 million), a decrease of 11%; EBITDA was down by 19% to QAR 2,939 million and EBITDA margin was reduced to 47% from 51%. Net Profit stood at QAR 1,031 in 2014 (QAR 1,734 in 2013).

Asiacell continues to operate Iraq’s strongest network with the best coverage although continuity of service in some areas was affected during 2014. Strategic initiatives focused on data revenue and the B2B market.

Data initiatives implemented during the year generated strong growth in data revenue in advance of the launch of 3G. Asiacell’s B2B customer base increased significantly during the year. The company continued to focus on a number of cost efficiencies. Asiacell monitors the political situation carefully and has a range of contingency plans in place to ensure the continued operation of the business.

(Source: Ooredoo)

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Iraq Situation Hits Zain Profits

Iraq Situation Hits Zain Profits

By John Lee.

In its full-year results announced on Sunday, Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer (pictured) said the escalation of political instability in Iraq in 2014 saw several million people displaced internally coupled with Zain Iraq enduring frequent temporary network interruptions and associated higher network operational costs:

These exceptional circumstances adversely affected the operation’s financial performance specifically for the 2nd half of 2014.

“Revenues for the full-year reached USD 1.6 billion [1.9 trillion Iraqi dinars], a decrease of 8% on 2013, with EBITDA reaching USD 578 million, down 19%, and net income amounting to USD 256 million, down 29% Y-o-Y.

“This decline took its toll on Zain Group’s overall financial performance.

(Source: Zain Group)

Posted in Security, Telecoms/CommsComments Off

Iran, Iraq to Cooperate on Telecoms

Iran, Iraq to Cooperate on Telecoms

By John Lee.

Iran and Iraq have reportedly agreed to reduce mobile phone roaming charges, and to cooperate more closely on other issues relating to telecommunications.

The development follows a visit by Iraqi Minister of Communications, Hassan Kadhim Al-Rashed [Kazem Hassan Rashed], to Tehran to meet Iran’s Communications and Information Technology Minister, Mahmoud Vaezi.

Minister Vaezi said:

“Iran and Iraq have long borders, so we need to take some measures to reduce frequency mix-ups.

“On certain days, especially religious anniversaries, a large number of Iranians travel to Iraq, so we need better cooperation on such days.”

(Source: Trend)

(Smartphone image via Shutterstock)

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