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Zain hit by electronic jam, sticking to Kurd plan, preserves silence on IPO

30 Sep 2010

Zain, Iraq’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, is losing between 25% and 30% of possible revenues because of outages caused by electronic jamming equipment, Emad Makiya, chief executive of Zain’s Iraq division, told Arabian Business News. As more power is being handed back to the domestic authorities by the foreign forces, they are relying on electronic jamming to ensure security, which is in turn disrupting Zain’s wireless services.

Makiya also said that the company is facing increasing pressure from the Iraqi government to list its shares on the country’s fledgling stock exchange, which was set as a condition when it acquired its mobile licence back in 2007. However, he stated that the IPO would certainly not take place this year and that he ‘did not know’ if the process would be launched in 2011.

In other news, Makiya announced the company’s expansion plans, as reported by CommsUpdate in August, are still on track. He said the operator expects to launch its service in the northern Kurdish region in January, and compete with rival mobile licensee Korek which has been the dominant operator in the region. Zain previously stated that its Iraq unit would invest 16%-20% of its revenue every year into upgrading and expanding its network in the country for at least the next three years.

Iraq, Zain Iraq

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