AKnews reports that Chinese company Huawei has won the contract to extend landline phone services to Najaf province,
Mohammed Ayed al-Moussawi, chairman of the provincial council's services commission, said the service will be world-class and the project will cost $40 million [48 billion Iraqi dinars].
The Ministry of Communications announced in January that two million landlines would be extended north during next March after the import of sophisticated next generation network (NGN) ground switches. NGN technology enables multiple uses of a network's hardware, allowing for internet alongside telephone calls.
"The network will provide citizens with the best telephone services, which also include Internet services, cable television, and fax," said al-Moussawi.
The northern neighborhoods at the center of Najaf have been suffering a shortage of landline telephone services since the eighties, exacerbated by the 2003 war.
The Iraqi Communications Ministry also announced it plans to reduce phone bills by 80%; citizens had reduced use of landline phones because of the high cost of calls.