By John Lee.
The Iraqi government has announced that it will shortly offer licenses to mobile operators to give customers 3G internet service, AFP reports.
The colossal increase in mobile phone ownership in Iraq post 2003 has been one of the notable developments in the country, a nation which still has a highly limited fixed-line network. Mobile internet use is therefore proliferating rapidly.
Asiacell chief executive Amer Sunna welcomed the news, while noting that some frustrations had been expressed by mobile operators in the long wait to move beyond 2G technology.
"We are really eager to know the terms and conditions. Because until now, it's just an announcement. It's been a while. I think frustration is there. Today, you see the penetration rate hitting 90 percent, and we're still on 2G."
Iraq Business News has previously noted the huge potential of this market. According to BuddeComm, the country has 3.4 million internet users, roughly 10 percent of the population. This will no doubt rise quickly when these licenses are issued.