Asiacell rings up Northern Iraq

Asiacell, the GSM network operator in Northern Iraq has reported that more than 1,000 subscribers are signing up every day, to substantially increase its subscriber base from the current 125,000 GSM users.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  March 8, 2004

Asiacell, the GSM network operator in Northern Iraq has reported that more than 1,000 subscribers are signing up every day, to substantially increase its subscriber base from the current 125,000 GSM users. “Our teams are working flat out to manage the demand for services. We’re fulfilling new subscriptions, expanding the geographical coverage of the network and building new facilities and services around the clock,” says Asiacell board member Ahmad Haleem. With a network capacity to support 400,000 subscribers, the operator is expanding its regional coverage in the Northern Region, with service rollouts planned to the cities of Irbil, Dahuk and Tikrit by June 2004. The network currently provides GSM services in Sulaymania, Mosul and Kirkuk. With its network centre at Sulaymaniya, the 5-year old operator currently employs more than 400 Iraqi staff members. Asiacell’s GSM license to operate in Northern Iraq was awarded by the Iraqi Ministry of Telecommunications in October 2003. The company’s license supports the operation of a national scale network till 2005. “As Iraq’s established operator, Asiacell has unique experience of working in the environment and we believe we are uniquely positioned to continue to lead the market. Asiacell was the first mobile operator in Iraq and today we are the fastest expanding mobile operator in Iraq,” adds Haleem. Asiacell, with a majority stake of 51% partnered with Kuwait’s Wataniya Telecom (40%) and United Gulf Bank (9%) to form a consortium to serve an estimated population of 4.4 million people in Northern Iraq.

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