Tag Archive | "mobile phone"

Zain Iraq Applies for Share Listing

By John Lee.

Zain Iraq has applied for a listing on the Baghdad stock exchange (ISX).

As part of their 15-year licences awarded in 2007, Iraq’s three mobile network operators — Zain, Asiacell and Korek — were required to float at least a quarter of their shares and join the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) by August 2011.

So far only Asiacell has floated, and fines are being levied against the others.

Abdul Razzaq Al-Saadi [Abdul Razaq Dawood Al-Sa’di], Chairman of the Iraqi Securities Commission (ISC), told Reuters:

“They (Zain Iraq) have preliminary approval …  There are some technicalities that need to be ironed out, such as the mechanism of listing and subsequent trading and some further requirements from Zain that they have pledged to sort out.”

Once given final approval Zain Iraq will have two months to list otherwise its application will be void.

(Source: Reuters)

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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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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)

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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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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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Zain Iraq Launches “3.9G” Services

By John Lee.

Zain Group has announces that its mobile operation in Iraq launched 3.9G voice and data services across the country on January 1, 2015.

The launch came following the finalization of an agreement with Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) on November 10, 2014, which culminated in Zain Iraq making an initial 25% payment towards the overall 3G spectrum fee of US$307 million.

Zain Iraq marked the official launch of the 3.9G service with a video call on New Year’s Eve to the Iraqi Minister of Telecommunications, Hassan Al Rashid.

Three leading global technology solution providers, namely Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia Networks were commissioned early in 2014 to expand and upgrade Zain Iraq’s network thus allowing the operator to quickly roll-out 3.9G commercial services across the country upon granting of the license.

Commenting on the significance of the 3.9G launch in Iraq, Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer (pictured) said:

“Today marks a new era of mobile telecommunications in Iraq as the introduction of high-speed mobile services will have an enormous impact on Iraq’s economic prosperity, enhancing local activity and act as a stimulus in attracting new investment into the country, further creating jobs and increasing national output.”

Zain Iraq Chief Operations Officer, Wael Ghanayem noted:

“Zain Iraq has invested heavily in expanding and upgrading the network and now customers in Iraq can enjoy and benefit from widespread 3.9G coverage. Given the country’s low broadband penetration rate of 15% and our solid customer base of over 13.3 million coupled with the rollout of new individual and corporate mobile services accompanying the high speed technology, we foresee significant growth in all our key financial metrics through the introduction of 3.9G in the country.”

(Source: Zain)

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Asiacell Launches 3G Service

By John Lee.

Asiacell has announced the launch of its third generation (3G) mobile phone services in Iraq.

Iraq has been underserved for far too long, it’s time to bring 21st century wireless service to this important economic hub in the world,” said Faruk Mustafa Rasool (pictured), Asiacell chairman.

Asiacell has spent more than $1bn on system modernization and 3G licenses for additional spectrum, a move that marks the huge investments the company is doing for better fit to the competitive telecom market in Iraq.

The company said its network has the capability to reach 4G/LTE speeds quickly as the telecommunications infrastructure in Iraq improves.

Amer Sunaa, Asiacell Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are very excited to launch 3G in Iraq. With the benefits of 3G, subscribers in Iraq can enjoy a faster, better mobile experience than ever before. All our customers will celebrate 3G launch with tailored incredible offers designed for each and every one.”

(Source: Asiacell)

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Why Mosul Extremists have Blocked All Telecoms

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.

Communication Shut Down: Why Extremists In Mosul Have Blocked All Telecommunications

The extremist group controlling Mosul in northern Iraq has decided to shut down most mobile telecommunications inside the city. Rumours are flying as to why. Have they done it because they can no longer profit from the phone companies in Mosul? Or is it because of an impending battle and they don’t want their positions revealed?

In a short statement broadcast on a local radio station, Al Zuhur, several days ago, a spokesman from the extremist group known as the Islamic State told listeners that work done by telecommunications companies in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city the group currently controls, has been suspended.

The statement didn’t give any reason as to why telecommunications companies would no longer be active in Mosul – fighters from the Islamic State, or IS, group had apparently sabotaged some of the cellphone towers. But nobody seems to know why and rumours are flying in the town.

Some say it’s because an external attack on the city – to liberate it from the IS group – is imminent and the group want to block communications. Others say it’s because telecommunications companies, which had always been rumoured to pay protection money to extremist groups in Mosul as well as rental to the building owners upon whose property they placed their towers, have stopped paying both fees.

A local telecommunications engineer who wanted to be identified only as Jaber says the cellphone towers were sabotaged for financial reasons. It’s become more difficult to get money in and out of the province of Ninawa since the IS group took over and the IS group hasn’t been able to collect money from the telecommunications companies, he alleges. It’s especially difficult to get money out of the comparatively safe region of Iraqi Kurdistan at the moment, after a recent car bomb attack.

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