Iraq to allow fourth mobile telecom service provider

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq is to allow a fourth mobile service provider to operate in the country and has invited interested companies to submit documents.

The state-run Communication and Media Commission announced on Wednesday that the planned license for the fourth provider will run for 15 years, with the possibility of renewal. Interested companies have until Nov. 20 to submit papers.

The commission also says the companies that qualify will be taking part in a bidding process. No date has been set for the bidding so far.

Iraq's existing three mobile telecom service providers — AsiaCell, Zain Iraq and Korek — paid the government $1.25 billion each for a 15-year license.

Under Saddam Hussein, mobile telecommunication services were only available in the country's northern Kurdish region, which enjoyed international protection from the regime.