World VoIP NewsEtisalat still eyeing Syria and Iraq mobile licencesEtisalat still eyeing Syria and Iraq mobile licences

Etisalat still eyeing Syria and Iraq mobile licences

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The chairman of UAE telecoms operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), Mohammad Omran, has confirmed the company is looking to acquire mobile licences in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reports.
‘The Iraqi government announced it would issue a fourth licence and we expressed our interest,’ Omran commented, adding, ‘The government [of Syria] has announced that it would issue a new licence and we also expressed our interest.’ As reported by CommsUpdate, the Iraqi cabinet gave final approval for the tender of a fourth licence to operate mobile services last month, in a bid to improve telecom services and bolster investment in the country. Hiam Al Yasiri, an advisor to Iraq’s communications minister, said that up to 15 firms, including US-based Verizon Communications, South Africa’s MTN, Turkcell of Turkey and Etisalat, had expressed an interest since the cabinet initially approved a plan for a fourth operator in July 2009.

Earlier this year Etisalat was rumoured to be in talks to buy a majority stake in Iraq’s Korek Telecom, but in April 2010 Etisalat rejected claims it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kurdish mobile operator. Meanwhile, Etisalat first expressed an interest in acquiring Syria’s third wireless licence in April last year.

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