Zain Jordan confirms 3G launch in Feb
CEO confirms Zain had full approval to deploy network during Orange Jordan's exclusivity period.
Zain Jordan is set to launch its 3G network on February 23, when the 3G exclusivity period of incumbent operator Orange Jordan ends, according to Dr. Abdul Malek Al-Jaber, CEO, Zain Jordan.
Zain, which hopes to attract some 150,000 subscribers to its 3G network by the end of 2011, has already started awareness campaigns and marketing for the network, and plans to announce its tariffs after the launch, Al-Jaber told CommsMEA.
He added that deployment of the network will continue after launch and that full coverage of the country is expected by the end of April.
Zain's readiness to launch of the network sparked controversy in Jordan, with Orange Jordan claiming that the government had breached its one year 3G exclusivity period by allowing its rival to deploy the network before the end of the exclusivity period. Orange Jordan started legal proceedings against the government in November.
While Al-Jaber said the disagreement over the exclusivity period is between the government and Orange, he confirmed that Zain "absolutely" had approval to deploy its 3G network, and added that the official licence to launch services will only be issued on the last day of Orange' exclusivity period.
"We are not claiming that we are launching the service now. We are preparing to launch the service. The service will be formally launched on February 23rd," he said.
Al-Jaber said that Orange's reaction to Zain's network deployment was "to be expected".
"The argument from Orange is that government can't even breath until exclusivity is over - this is the first time I have heard of such exclusivity worldwide."
Al-Jaber added that the addition of competition into Jordan's 3G sector will ultimately help grow the market, which in turn will benefit both the incumbent and Zain. "We have seen that completion grows the industry, and that it is good for all operators and the customers. Having another 3G operator in the market is good news for them [Orange] as well as the customers."