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Zain to expand to Kurdistan in 2011

24 Aug 2010

The Iraqi unit of Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain will begin operations in Iraqi Kurdistan in January 2011, Reuters reports, citing the company’s CEO Emad Makiya. ‘We will be entering Kurdistan. You will see us in there, a fully fledged network, by the beginning of 2011… We want to reach all the Iraqis everywhere,’ Makiya noted, adding that Zain will continue to invest in Iraq, which is a key high-growth market for the group. The Iraqi unit plans to invest 16%-20% of its revenue every year in upgrading and expanding its network for at least the next three years. Besides the expansion to the Kurdish region, the cellco’s key focus is the launch of 3G services; according to Makiya Zain Iraq is already testing the technology and is awaiting a licence from the government to provide 3G services. The CEO also revealed that the company expects revenue in the country to increase by at least 15%-20% in 2011 and expects to boost its Iraqi subscriber base by up to two million in the same year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zain is Iraq’s largest cellco by subscribers with 10.07 million users at 31 March 2010 (a market share of 48.4%), followed by Asiacell with 7.74 million customers (37.2%), Kurdish operator Korek Telecom with 2.49 million (12%) and regional operator SanaTel with 500,000 subscribers (2.4%).

Iraq, Zain Iraq

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