Alternative telecoms operator Batelco Jordan is the first company to receive an operating concession under Jordan’s new unified licence regime. Batelco has been granted a network operator licence and may now offer a full range of voice and data services via the build out of its own telecoms network. The telco was created in 1994 through the merger of Jordan’s first e-mail provider, National Equipment and Technical Services (NETS), its maiden data communications provider First Telecommunications Group (FTG) and Bahrain Telecom. It has a strong foothold in Jordan’s internet and global data communications market, by offering a range of products including IP leased lines, ADSL, web solutions, managed data solutions and value added services.
The Jordan Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) fully liberalised the fixed line market last month and all registered and prospective telecommunications companies can now apply for concessions to provide a full range of wireline voice services in competition with incumbent Jordan Telecom (JT). The TRC has introduced two new forms of fixed line licence: the network operators’ licence, for the provision of new facilities and services; and the service provider licence, for those seeking to offer services over JT’s network. JT’s monopoly officially expired at the end of 2004. The TRC says it expects the country’s newly opened up telecoms sector to generate revenues in excess of USD1 billion annually and claims to have already received ‘a significant number’ of applications for licences to operate in the sector. The market for the provision of data communications services is already fully liberalised and Batelco is the first of the 25 existing licensees to apply for a full service concession.