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Qtel and Turkcell express interest in mobile licence tenders

8 Aug 2007

The chairman of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, has told a news conference that Qtel plans to enter a bid in the upcoming mobile licence tender in Iraq. A consortium, led by Qtel affiliate Asia-Cell Telecommunications Co Iraq plans to take part in an auction for three licences, set to take place in the middle of this month. Asia-Cell, 40%-owned by Kuwaiti group Wataniya, itself a 51%-owned subsidiary of Qtel, operates GSM services in northern Iraq under a temporary licence, but has been threatened with closure following a petition to shut it down was filed in the Cayman Islands by its Iraqi-Kurdish majority owners. ‘There is a very good investment prospect in the Iraqi market which we know very well. This will eventually strengthen Qtel Group’s position. An announcement to this effect will be made soon,’ the chairman said. In separate but related news, Turkcell has also revealed that it is considering taking part.

Iraq, Asiacell, Ooredoo Qatar, Turkcell

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