All change with Jordan’s telecoms policymakers

On September 10, the Jordanian cabinet accepted the resignation of Muna Nijem, who had been the head of the Telecoms Regulatory Commission (TRC).

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  December 5, 2005

Jordan’s vibrant telecoms market is at risk of losing some of its momentum given developments in recent months that have seen the country’s two leading female telecoms figure leave their respective posts. On September 10, the Jordanian cabinet accepted the resignation of Muna Nijem, who had been the head of the Telecoms Regulatory Commission (TRC), a position from which she oversaw the liberalisation of the Jordanian telecoms sector. It is understood that Nijem’s resignation is linked to her efforts to succeed incumbent ITU secretary general Yoshio Utsumi, and her desire to focus exclusively on this effort. The second high-profile telecoms personality to have seen her role altered in Jordan is Nadia Al Saeed, who is reported to have lost her position as information and communication technology minister. It has been suggested that she will assume the role of chairperson of the TRC. Given the small size of Jordan’s population, the ministry’s stance on competition and liberalisation had resulted in the rapid development of a competitive landscape with the participation of three GSM operators and an iDEN player. The latest GSM operator to launch, Umniah, is reported to have received a lacklustre response since its market entry in June this year, prompting speculation that Marwan Juma’s Batelco Jordan, which is preparing to launch a mobile service of its own, may be in the market to acquire Umniah.

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