Jordanian cellco Umniah Mobile Company (UMC) has become the country’s fourth wireless operator, following its launch of commercial GSM-1800 services this week. UMC, a joint venture between Kuwaiti conglomerate the Al Ghanem Group and local investor Michael Dagher, was awarded its concession by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) in August 2004. Dagher says that his company will help push Jordan’s mobile penetration from its current 30% to the 50% mark, boasting that in its first 48 hours of operation it had already ‘attracted a huge sum of customers, exceeding all expectations’. He added that Umniah’s GSM-GPRS network, supplied by Huawei, is still being rolled out and will cover 92% of the population before the end of the year. The new operator is competing with incumbent GSM operators Fastlink and MobileCom, and iDEN service Xpress Mobile.