Iran strips Zain of mobile licence - report

Iran government says Kuwait-based telecoms co failed to 'fulfil its obligations'.

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By  Neeraj Gangal Published  July 4, 2009

Kuwaiti Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) has reportedly landed in trouble in Iran as the government says the company failed to “fulfill its obligations”, according to a report.

The Poul newspaper quoted Iranian telecoms minister Mohammad Soleimani as saying that another tender would be held to find a new partner for the development of the much-delayed project, the Tehran Times reported. It added that the Poul daily gave no further details.

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

But the chairman of Etisalat told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview that 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.

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.

Later, it was announced that a consortium led by Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) will be awarded Iran's third mobile licence.

Iran has a mobile penetration rate of less than 60 percent, in a market where about half of its 70 million population is under 25 years of age.

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