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Atheer expands mobile network into Baghdad

Atheer Telecoms has started to install network equipment in Baghdad in anticipation of full competition between Iraq’s three mobile operators.

Atheer Telecoms has started to install network equipment in Baghdad in anticipation of full competition between Iraq’s three mobile operators.

The MTC-managed consortium was licensed to offer GSM services in the country’s Southern region in December last year. It says that it has reached regulatory targets which would allow it to offer services outside its allotted zone once it gains approval from Iraq’s telecoms watchdog.

“We’re building our infrastructure in Baghdad right now,” Ali Al Dahwi, chief executive officer of Atheer, tells CommsMEA.

The move would see Atheer take on Orascom’s Iraqna venture in Baghdad, although the operator wouldn’t provide a specific date when it will launch services in the capital. But it has been mooted that approval for competition will be granted before it was originally scheduled at the end of 2004.

AsiaCell, which operates in the North, says that it is also awaiting the go-ahead from Iraq’s recently-formed regulator to expand elsewhere. Orascom, which had eight employees abducted in Baghdad in September, declined to comment on Iraqna’s future plans.

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