Tamin Telecom plans Iran’s 3rd mobile network
Iranian company scouts for partner to launch and run 2G and 3G services next year
Iran's Tamin Telecom is planning to launch the country's third mobile operation in 2010, and intends to roll out services in "eight major cities" within nine months.
The company, which is an affiliate of the Social Security Investment Company of Iran, said in a statement that that it is looking to partner with an "experienced telecom consultancy" with the objective of launching 2G and 3G services throughout Iran next year.
Tamin Telecom confirmed in the statement that it holds the licence for Iran's third mobile license, and added that it intends to cover 60% of Iran's population with 2G services, and 40% of the population with 3G services, by 2014.
The company said it is looking for a consultant with extensive experience of designing, deploying and managing mobile networks. "The consultant is required to provide pre and post-launch consulting, project management and implementation services to Tamin Telecom and to ensure complete transfer of technical, commercial and management know-how to Tamin Telecom by training the necessary local workforce," the statement added.
But the task is likely to be met with caution from would-be investors, following the recent failure of operators including Etisalat and Zain to enter Iran.
The UAE's Etisalat had previously been expected to roll out Iran's third mobile network as part of a consortium with Tamin Telecom. The consortium was confirmed as the winner of the license in December 2008, but the project was derailed a few months later, apparently owing to disagreements between the two companies.
Etisalat chairman Mohammed Omran said at the time that the operator's local partner wanted to change the terms of its arrangement with Etisalat, which put it at odds with the Iranian regulator.
The licence was then awarded to Kuwait's Zain, but the deal also collapsed when the license was withdrawn by the regulator in July.
Doubts also remain about the regulatory climate in Iran's telecoms sector, following news earlier this month that the country's Revolutionary Guards Corps was linked to a consortium that bought the previously state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran, although other members of the consortium dismissed the reports.