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Group begins Iraq laptop rollout

Regional conglomerate Iraq Emaar Group is gearing up for the start of a scheme that could eventually see as many as 500,000 laptops deployed throughout Iraq.

Regional conglomerate Iraq Emaar Group is gearing up for the start of a scheme that could eventually see as many as 500,000 laptops deployed throughout Iraq.

The project, through which laptops will be offered at discount prices to users in Iraq, is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year, Sheikh Fawzi Al Lami, chairman of Iraq Emaar Group subsidiary Iraqtel, told IT Weekly.

Al Lami said the group has had talks with a number of vendors and is looking to sign a deal in the coming months. Vendors would need to meet three criteria — affordable price range, high quality and commitment, and financing options — to be considered for the scheme, he added.

The group, previously known as Al Emaar Holding Group, wants initially to deploy up to 5,000 laptops in Q2 and 15,000 in the second half of the year.

Doctors, engineers, students and ministry workers are the main targets for the scheme, which will see laptops priced at around 20% lower than retail rates, Iraqtel claimed, with users able to pay on a monthly instalment basis.

Iraqtel claimed the project’s aim is not to make profit, but was part of the Iraq Emaar Group’s overall bid to encourage the use of the internet in the country.

Iraqtel began its deployment of WiMax this week in Basrah and has also secured the agreement of the ministry to supply WiMax in Baghdad.

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