Qatar Telecom seeks expansion in Iraq

Friday, 09 March 2012


Erbil - One year after the Kuwati Zain started providing Mobile phone and internet services in Iraqi Kurdistan,the Qatar Telecom (Qtel) unveiled plans to extend its services in Iraq where it's existing mobile and fixed networks need major investment, Reuters reported.

The company will seek new mobile phone licenses in Iraq for third generation technologies which enables faster Internet connections on smart phones, Middle East North African Financial Network reported.

CEO Nasser Marafih said Qtel is currently focusing on more balanced expansion pace rather than the fast pace it adopted across 16 countries from Indonesia to Algeria over a decade.

Qtel plans to tap countries like Algeria, Iraq, and Tunisia, where governments have not even issued mobile licenses for third generation technology that allows networks to deliver fast Internet to phones.

Marafih said Qtel will seek such licences, which may be issued this year in Tunisia and Algeria, as well as work to build out fixed networks as a way to grow the businesses.

He also said that Qtel is mulling opportunities in Libya where there are two state-owned telecom firms that might be opened up after the country's revolution.

Qtel sought a third generation license in Syria last year; however, the auction was scrapped over the ongoing political unrest plaguing the state.