EXCLUSIVE: Rift with Iranian partner behind licence loss - Etisalat

Etisalat still in talks with Iranian regulator for telecom licence - chairman

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By  Soren Billing Published  May 15, 2009

The Iranian regulator did not strip Etisalat of the country’s third mobile licence , but disagreement with its local partner may have cost the company the licence, the chairman of Etisalat told Arabian Business on Friday.

The local partner that controls the consortium that was awarded the licence wanted to change the terms of the deal, which put it at odds with the Iranian regulator, Mohammed Omran said on Friday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

The company was stripped of Iran’s third mobile licence this week after the country’s telecom regulator said it had failed to “fulfill its obligations”.

In January a consortium made up of Etisalat and Iran’s Tamin Telecom won the license, which has now been awarded to a consortium led by Kuwait’s Zain.

However, Omran told Arabian Business that Etisalat is still in talks with the regulator, but that it would not be working with its previous partner.

It would take some time for the issue to be resolved, he added.

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