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3G Networks in Iraq – Zain Iraq’s to Take Initiations

3G Networks in Iraq – Zain Iraq’s to Take Initiations
With 15 percent of its revenue in this year, Zain Iraq is ready to reinvest in the infrastructural development.
Zain Iraq, the largest mobile or cell phone communication operator of Iraq will soon launch 3rd generation network or 3G network support after receiving the require spectrum from CMC or Communications and Media Commission.
Wael Ghanayem, the chief financial and operating officer of Zain Iraq, stated that in the year of 2012, the company earned revenue of US$1.73 billion. The company is looking forward to double its revenue in coming years. Last year, 200 million USD was invested for expansion and modernization of network system by the company. This year the company will invest its 15% of the total revenue for infrastructural development.
Mr Ghanayem claimed that the spectrum grant for 3G network from CMC is at the final stage. Huge investments are required to build 3G infrastructure. Presently, the company is working with the companies, like - Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei, Ericsson.
These three mobiles networks run 2G networks in Iraq, which provide limited capacity to the users for mobile broadband connections. After the venture of 3G connection, data usage is anticipated to increase exponentially.
Mr Ghanayem remarked that data penetration in Iraq is present 10%. Thus, huge growth is possible in this sphere. He also said if we look to the neighboring countries where 3G networks are available, data contributes 20 to 30 percent to the total revenues.
Being a subsidiary of the Kuwaiti Zain Group, Zain Iraq is chalking on its initial public offering in line, with the terms of their license, which was issued in the year of 2007.In ISX (Iraq Stock Exchange), all three mobile operators were required to float 25 per cent of their shares. So far, Asiacell is the only company to fulfill its offerings, by raising $1.24bn that too in the last month.
The company will soon change into a joint-stock company from a private company, as soon as it gets ratified from the companies registrar. The company is anticipated to initiate its share offerings by the end of this year.
In Iraq, mobile penetration rate is 80 percent. In 2009, significantly the market value of telecom sector increased 19%. However, this year a slow grow is experienced and it is only 12% this time.
Though, it is slow, but growth is still there which can be boosted by introducing 3G networks in the country. According to the prediction of World Bank, Iraq will experience 13% GDP growth compared to the figure of 2 to 3% globally. The aftermath of GDP growth is increment in per capita income, which will definitely help people to increase their spending in telecom sector.
Zain Iraq ended its last year business with 13.7 million subscribers. The future is brighter, as more subscribers are expected to come.
Updated 03 Mar 2013 | Soruce: The National | By S.Seal
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