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Kalimat awards deal to Huawei; seeks to sell 15% stake

24 Jul 2007

Kalimat Telecom, which has a ten-year licence to operate a fixed wireless network in Iraq, has awarded a USD275 million infrastructure contract to Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies. Huawei will install CDMA (code division multiple access) base stations and create an all-IP network infrastructure. ‘Huawei will play a vital role in Kalimat’s planned rollout of the Iraqi wireless-in-the- local loop (WiLL) network, extend its next generation network to more than 5,000 towns, and create the Middle East’s largest wireless telecom network,’ said Wilson Varghese, CEO of Kalimat. The firm aims to have five million CDMA lines in service, to both private homes and business customers, by 2011, with half a million installed in the first year. In addition to providing voice telephony and internet access, Kalimat also intends to deploy WiMAX technology to provide wireless data traffic at broadband speeds over long distances. Huawei will execute the project in four phases beginning in September this year.

Kalimat is part of Kuwait-based Trade Links, a multi-sector consortium of American and Arab owners which won the ten-year wireless licence from Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission in September 2006. Other partners include Voex, which will serve as the operator of the network, and American telecoms consulting firm Artel. Kalimat said yesterday that it is discussing selling a 15$ stake in the USD1 billion venture to an Iraqi partner. ‘We will have an Iraqi partner. We are holding talks for a 15% stake,’ said Mr Varghese.

Iraq, Iraq Cell

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