Iraq is to offer three new 15-year mobile network operating licences this month, according to a statement from government officials yesterday, with a fourth licence likely to go to the Iraqi Ministry of Communications. ‘An auction to grant these licences is expected to be held in Amman on 16-17 August and results will be announced on 18 August,’ a senior official working with one of the existing mobile operators told Dow Jones Newswires. The Iraqi government announced a tender to grant the new licences last month. The current temporary licences, held by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (Iraqna), Kuwait’s MTC-Atheer and AsiaCell, owned by Kuwait’s Watanyia, have been extended several times, and are set to expire on 31 August. Around ten firms are said to have pre-qualified for the tender. A source at the Ministry of Communications said Japanese and US firms are among the new bidders.