MegaFon denies interest in Iranian market
Russian operator dismisses rumours that it had secured GSM licence for Iran
MegaFon, Russia’s third largest mobile operator, has denied recent media reports that it was planning to enter Iran.
The company, which had expressed an interest in the Iranian market in early 2008, said that it decided against entering the market after “reviewed the tender terms and other factors related to conducting business in Iran.”
“MegaFon does not plan to enter the market of Iran”, said Peter Lidov, PR director, MegaFon. “We monitor opportunities to enter promising markets outside Russia but Iran is not among them,” he added.
In 2008, MegaFon’s international arm, which was set up to study new markets, looked at participating in the tender for Iran’s third GSM license but later refused to take part in the tender and halted work on entering the country.
While it is unknown when MegaFon decided against tendering for the licence, it is likely that the company’s decision was reinforced by the failure of regional heavyweights Etisalat and Zain to secure the licence.
UAE incumbent Etisalat, which was originally selected by Iran’s telecom regulator to set up the country’s third GSM network, was stripped of its licence in May, apparently following a disagreement with its local partner, Tamin Telecom.
In early July, Kuwait’s Zain Group, which emerged as the regulator’s second choice for the licence, was rejected after being accused of failing to “fulfill its obligations”.