Iraq GSM contracts to be signed on 17 December

16 December 2003
The three Iraqi GSM licenses awarded by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) on 10 October are scheduled to be signed on December in the Iraqi capital, said a senior CPA source in Baghdad. The licences cover northern, central and southern Iraq. After two years operators will have the option to extend their concessions to national coverage in order to have three countrywide competing networks by mid-2006 (MEED 14:11:03).

The three licenses were awarded to:

Asia-Cell. The consortium of the local Asia-Cell Telecom (51 per cent), Wataniya Telecom of Kuwait (40 per cent) and Bahrain-based United Gulf Bank (9 per cent), has the licence for the northern region, where Asia-Cell Telecom already operates a small GSM network based in Suleimaniya.

a consortium led by Cairo-based Orascom Telecom and two investors identified as Egyptian businessman Alaa el-Khawaja and the local Allied SA. It has the licence for the central region.

Atheer Telecom Iraq. The consortium of Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) of Kuwait, the local Dijla Telecommunications Corporation and Kuwait-based Kharafi Group has the licence for the southern region.

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