Iraq mobile hopefuls to meet in Jordan

Companies that want to bid for Iraq’s three mobile telecomms licences will have an opportunity to question Iraqi telecomms officials in Jordan on July 31.

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By  David Ingham Published  July 30, 2003

Mobile telephone companies and members of Iraq’s interim government will meet in Jordan on Thursday (July 31) to discuss the future of Iraqi telecomms. All companies that want to bid for Iraq’s three mobile licenses have been told to attend.

“The bidding process, the future of the mobile network in Iraq, as well as telecom issues, such as the future of telephone services, data networks, and Internet services will be covered,” says a statement from Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA.)

Iraq’s CPA has said that it will issue three mobile licences, each one covering a specific region of Iraq and valid for 24 months. Each applicant will be required to bid for at least two of the licences.

The CPA says that it has chosen a regional licensing approach “in order to enable the rapid rollout of services to the main population centres.”

The unusually short lifespan of the licenses, explains the CPA, “reflects the special circumstances in Iraq. It is believed that this period will provide operators with sufficient opportunity to recover their investment while enabling a future Iraqi Authority to take responsibility for key decisions in relation to the long-term development of the sector.”

Bids for the licences have to be submitted by 10:00am, Iraq local time, August 14, 2003.

Amongst those attending the July 31 event from the Iraqi side are Dr Shakir Abdullah, secretary general of the Ministry of Telecommunications, and Abdul Latif, director general, Iraq Telecommunications and Posts Company. Dr. Fawaz Al Zu’bi, Jordan’s minister of ICT, will open the event.

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