Tag Archive | "mobile phone"

Asiacell Sales Decline

By John Lee.

Mobile operator Asiacell has posted an 8 percent drop in sales in the first half of 2014, due to the security situation and increased competition.

In its first half results its parent company, the Qatar-based Ooredoo, made the following statement:

Asiacell faced a growing wave of political and social instability during the period, allied to the effects of an increasingly competitive market.

“Consequently, revenue for the first half of 2014 was QAR 3,220 million (1H 2013: QAR 3,502 million), a decrease of 8%; EBITDA was down by 17% to QAR 1,544 million and EBITDA margin was also down to 48% from 53%.

“Asiacell focused on a number of cost efficiencies during the period in the face of growing competition whilst continuing its roll-out programme of network modernisation to ensure Asiacell customers continue to benefit from Iraq’s best and most reliable network.

“Consequently, Asiacell’scustomer base grew by 10.6% to 11.6 million compared to the first half of 2013. In response to the political and social situation in the country, Asiacell is monitoring the 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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Zain Sued for $4.5bn over Iraq Deal

By John Lee.

Reuters reports that mobile phone company Zain is being sued for $4.5 billion over its 2007 acquisition of Iraqi telecom operator Iraqna.

The company bought Iraqna for $1.2 billion from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom after it dropped out of the running for a long-term mobile licence in Iraq.

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

Zain said that a company it declined to identify filed a lawsuit last August claiming that Zain’s takeover had stopped the firm buying Iraqna, causing it losses of $4.5 billion.

Zain Iraq said the claimant company has failed to produce any evidence to back its claim.

(Source: Reuters)

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Old Phones, Computers Threaten Public Health

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

E-Waste Comes to Karbala: Old Phones and Computers Threaten Public Health

In the relatively prosperous city of Karbala, locals are used to buying cheap mobile phones, then simply throwing them out when they break down. They also discard used computers, televisions and other electronic equipment in the same way. But, as local doctors warn, the components of this electronic waste can also be toxic and dangerous to human health.

In Karbala, locals quite commonly buy two or three cheap mobile phones at a time and after using them for a couple of months they simply replace them.

And people here have different reasons for getting a new mobile phone. Ahmad Badr, 27, says he is often tempted by new models because of the way they look or the new technology. “Every time I see a new model, I feel like selling my old phone or maybe giving it to my younger brothers,” says Badr, who admits to having gone through 21 mobile phones over recent years.

Even Hamid Rhaman, who is in his 60s, says he’s had nine mobile phones since they became available in Karbala. “I replaced most of them because of technical issues but in some cases, I did get a new one simply because I wanted a better model,” he explains.

These examples fit with what mobile phone store owners see regularly: younger people replace their phones more often and it often has much to do with following trends. And women replace their phones more often than men. Those least likely to shop for a new phone regularly are older men.

But what happens to all the old phones? “We can’t really do anything with the old or damaged phones,” says Rida Bahr, the owner of a phone repair store in Karbala. “Sometimes repair shops like mine keep the old phones for a while. But then we run out of space and we basically just have to throw them in the garbage along with other household rubbish.”

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France’s Orange sees Huge Growth in Iraq

By John Lee.

French-based telecommunications company Orange has said that it expects rapid customer and revenue growth in Iraq, where it took a 20 percent stake in mobile operator Korek two years ago.

Marc Rennard (pictured), the company’s executive vice president for Africa, the Middle East and Asia, told Reuters:

We have just reached five million customers two weeks ago (in Iraq), so business is booming and we are now working on the next step that will be the 3G licence … It depends on the government and regulatory authorities but we hope it will be beginning of 2014 …

“We don’t want to publish our objectives for next year or the year after, but there is still room for huge growth in Iraq in terms of number of customers and also in terms of revenues  …

“In Iraq two years ago it was less than 2 million customers, so we got this dramatic increase from the south and part of it from the north …

“In the future, if you project 10 years it will be probably one of the most important countries in the Orange group. It will be close to Egypt.

Mobile telephone penetration is relatively high at around 78 percent of Iraq’s population of 33 million, but only about 2 percent has access to broadband, analysts say.

(Source: Reuters)

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Korek Upgrades Network in Southern Iraq

Korek Telecom customers in southern Iraq will soon experience high-speed mobile broadband and better voice call services with improved coverage.

For this, Korek Telecom, a leading telecom operator in Iraq, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to deploy its advanced radio, microwave transmission and packet core network elements, using its comprehensive services. The operator has also renewed its care and managed services contract with the company.

“We wanted to provide better internet experience and improved voice call services for our customers in Iraq,” said Ghada Gebara (pictured), Chief Executive Officer, Korek Telecom. “To achieve this, we needed a globally renowned technology partner, so we selected Nokia Siemens Networks. With Nokia Siemens Networks’ advanced radio and core network technology, we will soon be able to introduce high-speed mobile broadband and enhanced voice services to our customers in southern Iraq.”

“To fulfill the needs of Korek Telecom which is growing fast in the Iraqi telecom market, we are committed to providing strong technology support to the operator,” said Mikko Ylä-Kauttu, head of customer team Korek Telecom at Nokia Siemens Networks.

“Our radio and core network will ensure more throughput, improved coverage and higher quality to help Korek Telecom satisfy existing customers and attract new ones. In addition, our comprehensive services will ensure the rollout is fast and efficient, with everything working seamlessly.”

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New 4G Mobile Service to be Launched

Alcatel-Lucent and Regional Telecom, a communications service provider in Northern Iraq, are to launch the nation’s first 4G LTE network, providing the region with lightning-fast wireless broadband services including high-definition video streaming, high-speed Internet access and a range of business services.

The new network will be the first in Iraq to offer large-scale wireless broadband services, helping in the restoration of the nation’s communication infrastructure impacted by the tough times of political unrest. The network will provide significant support to ongoing efforts to revive the Iraqi economy, bringing levels of connectivity needed for business, public sector and consumer applications.

Kawa Junad, Chairman of Regional Telecom, said:

Broadband services are the lifeblood of the modern digital economy, but Iraq has been without widely available broadband for more than a decade, in effect cutting off the country, our businesses and our citizens from the rest of the world. The introduction of 4G LTE services in Northern Iraq promises to change that, making a significant contribution to the country’s efforts to rejoin the global community.

For the project, Alcatel-Lucent is providing its industry-leading end-to-end 4G LTE solution, including base stations, IP mobile backhaul for 4G LTE and existing 3G CDMA traffic, Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and elements of its platforms, which will allow Regional Telecom to introduce a rich portfolio of advanced IP-based services.

Amr K. El-Leithy (pictured), Head of Middle East Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan in Alcatel-Lucent said:

As a world leader in the innovation and delivery of 4G LTE networks, Alcatel-Lucent has the experience and expertise to support service providers in addressing the unique demands and expectations in the communities they serve – and this project with Regional Telecom is a perfect example. Our 4G LTE technology is helping meet customers’ data needs in some of the world’s busiest mobile broadband networks. At the same time we are also bringing broadband services to underserved regions to help promote economic growth and drive new business opportunities.

(Source: Alcatel-Lucent)

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BlackBerry App World now Available in Iraq

Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the BlackBerry App World storefront is now available for customers in Iraq, offering them easy access to a broad range of mobile applications that are purpose-built for BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

Customers can personalize their BlackBerry device, find the hottest games and entertainment, and get apps that help them stay connected with the people who matter most to them.

“We are thrilled to launch BlackBerry App World for our customers in Iraq,” said Sandeep Saihgal, Managing Director for the Middle East at RIM.

“They can now enjoy great content for their BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets with a comprehensive catalog of applications that can enrich their mobile experience for work and play,” he added.

Some key features of BlackBerry App World include:

•Front Page Carousel – BlackBerry App World showcases several applications on its front page carousel, making it easy for customers to browse through a select number of featured applications. These applications vary from time to time, helping customers discover new applications.

•Reviews – In addition to seeing screenshots and reading a description of an application before they download it, customers can easily access and read reviews posted by other customer, which are then reflected in star ratings.

•Share – Customers can recommend applications to other people through email, PIN, SMS message, Facebook, Twitter or BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

•Wishlist: Customers can easily mark an app for future download or purchase with Wishlist. They can build their wish list as they browse through the catalog and add the items that interest them most.

•Update Notifications: Customers are notified of updates to applications they’ve downloaded on BlackBerry App World.

Some free apps on BlackBerry App World include:

•Call To Pray – by Asgatech, is an app that displays Muslim prayer times and reminders. It also calculates Qibla (direction of Mecca) based on the customer’s current location using GPS.

•Arabic Radio ListenArabic.com – one of the biggest Arabic social portals, giving BlackBerry customers the pleasure of listening to music, television, and readings of the Qu’ran.

•Arabic Food – by Asgatech, is a step by step Arabic food recipe app, providing ingredients, cooking rules and healthy eating tips, all supported by tantalizing photos.

•Qordoba Reader – start reading free and affordable Arabic eBooks in ePub format. All purchases sync with the a customer’s online bookshelf at Qordoba.com and on their BlackBerry smartphone.

BlackBerry App World is available for all BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 4.2 or higher, as well as BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. Customers can download BlackBerry App World directly to their smartphone or tablet by visiting blackberry.com/appworld or mobile.blackberry.com, over both Wi-Fi and mobile phone networks.

BlackBerry App World is available in more than 170 markets and territories around the world. Customers require an active BlackBerry data plan with Internet access to access BlackBerry App World. Data charges may apply for customers that have limited data plans.

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Asiacell to go Public in Early 2013

By John Lee.

The Iraq Stock Exchange says that Iraqi telecom operator Asiacell will start publicly trading its shares as of 3rd February.

Associated Press also report that it will be the first stock float since the reign of Saddam Hussein.

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 25 percent of the company’s shares will take place from 3rd January to 2nd February, and that the share price must be determined by 25th December.

Asiacell is an affiliate to Qatar Telecommunications.

(Source: Associated Press)

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