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One in three Iraqis now has a mobile phone

Three way competition in the market has driven mobile subscription rates to a record high.

The number of mobile subscribers in Iraq is estimated to have reached just under 9 million users at the end of 2006, representing a mobile penetration rate of approximately 33%.

The market added a total of 1.36 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2006, representing the strongest number of user additions in the three licensee's history since launching service in December 2003.

The addition of 9 million subscribers in a little over three years is a significant achievement given the state of security on the ground in the country.

Nationwide competition has been a positive development in the Iraqi mobile market with Iraqna having begun 2006 with over 40% market share, and losing share in each quarter of the year, to end the period with a 32.8% share.

Wataniya's AsiaCell began the year in second place, with a 36.1% market share, and saw this position whittled down to just 31% at year-end.

MTC Group's MTC Atheer was the big winner in 2006, seeing its subscriber base skyrocket from 23.5% at the beginning of the year to 36.2%, as a result of its expansion further across the geographical area of Iraq.

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