Umniah bids US$11.8 million for Jordanian fixed wireless licence

"Our acquisition of the FBWA licence in Jordan is another milestone to achieving profitable growth. It gives us the ability to further extend superior service to six million people in Jordan and allows us to improve economies of scale in our mobile business,” said Peter Kaliaropoulos, CEO Batelco.

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By  Christopher Reynolds Published  December 20, 2006

Umniah, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based operator Batelco, has been awarded Jordan’s first 3.5GHz Fixed Broadband Wireless Access (FBWA) licence by the kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, following a successful US$11.8 million bid. “For the first time ever, Umniah will be able to bypass a third-party infrastructure and deliver true value and a quality of service direct to the consumer without any dependence on our competitor," said Peter Kaliaropoulos, CEO of Batelco. Kaliaropoulos has been adopting an aggressive expansion policy since coming to office last year. Batelco procured a 96% stake in Umniah in June 2006 for US$415 million as a part of a three-year plan Batelco has to attract 30% of its revenue from its overseas operations. The operator has since focused its Jordanian mobile services business through Umniah, while its second subsidiary in the region, Batelco Jordan, concentrates on offering fixed line access. Umniah has seen its prepaid subscriber base grow to 445,500 in 1Q06 a 34% increase from 4Q05, representing 14% share of the Jordanian mobile market. Batelco is expecting to grow its total mobile customer base across all its operations by 120% by the end of 2006, providing services to over 1.2 million subscribers. "Our acquisition of the FBWA licence in Jordan is another milestone to achieving profitable growth. It gives us the ability to further extend superior service to six million people in Jordan and allows us to improve economies of scale in our mobile business,” Kaliaropoulos added.

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