Orascom launches service in Southern Iraq

Iraqna has launched mobile services in the southern region of Iraq, having expanded its network outside Baghdad.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  November 11, 2004

Iraqna has launched mobile services in the southern region of Iraq, having expanded its network outside Baghdad. The Orascom-owned firm began offering calls earlier this week in the zone south of the capital, which was allocated to Atheer Telecoms when the country’s three mobile operators were licensed in December last year. The group also says it is close to launching services in the country’s Northern region, currently served by Asiacell. Iraqna says it has fulfilled twelve-month coverage obligations imposed by its licence, enabling it to expand beyond the central area. It claims to have signed up 480,000 subscribers in Iraq so far and is targeting over one million by the end of the year. “We’ve fulfilled our requirements and once you’ve done that you can launch in another region,” says a spokesperson for Orascom. Atheer, meanwhile, says it is constructing a network in Baghdad and has signed contract extensions with Nokia and Motorola to expand its capacity in Iraq to around one million subscribers. “We finished our one year plan about four months ahead of schedule and are constructing towers in Baghdad. We expect to launch within 20 to 30 days,” Ali Al Dahwi, CEO, Atheer, tells CommsMEA.

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