The Iraqi unit of Zain Group has signed an agreement with Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission to secure authorization to utilize 2100MHz spectrum for 3G services across Iraq.
Zain Iraq recently paid the first instalment fee amounting to US$76.75 million representing 25% of the overall 3G spectrum fee of US$307 million.
In anticipation of receiving the 3G spectrum licence, Zain Iraq commissioned three leading global technology solutions providers - Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Networks - to expand and upgrade the network with Single-RAN technology, allowing the operator to quickly roll out 3G commercial services across the country.
Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer said “Zain views the launch of 3G services in Iraq as a complete game-changer for the country, which today measures less than 15% broadband penetration. We have already invested heavily in making the network 3G ready and our target is to be commercially operational by January 2015, allowing Iraqi customers to enjoy and benefit from widespread 3G coverage.”
Today, data related revenues (excluding SMS and Value Added Services) represent only 4% of Zain Iraq’s total revenues reflecting an annual growth rate of 12%.