Turkcell wins Iran GSM contest

A consortium led by Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator, has won the contest for Iran’s second GSM licence.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  February 19, 2004

A consortium led by Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator, has won the contest for Iran’s second GSM licence. The Irancell group will be awarded the licence upon payment of a US$385 million fee and the signing of a licence agreement, and is expected to have set up operations within 11 months. Turkcell is expected to invest around US$3 billion in the project, and will share a percentage of its revenues with the government. The operator beat off competition for the licence from a shortlist including Kuwait-based MTC-Vodafone, South Africa’s MTN and Orascom Telecom of Egypt. It will compete with incumbent, Telecoms Company of Iran (TCI), which has signed up 3 million mobile subscribers out of an estimated population of around 70 million. According to the Ministry of Communications, Iran’s mobile market is expected to grow to 30 million by 2009. Arab Advisors Group predicts that GSM penetration in Iran will reach 23% by 2007 and GSM revenues between 2004 and 2007 will exceed US$8.6 billion. The Ministry is also expected to issue a third mobile licence in 2006.

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