Zain to invest USD107m in 2013

18 Feb 2013

Zain Jordan will invest JOD76 million (USD107.12 million) in 2013 on upgrading its infrastructure and services, the Jordan Times quotes CEO Ahmad Al Hanandeh as saying. Hanandeh also called for greater consistency in legislation regarding the telecom sector, as changes had negatively impacted operators and investment. The official threw his weight behind earlier criticism of the watchdog’s decision to allow for the entrance of a fourth cellco into the market, noting that with population penetration in excess of 100%, there was no room for a new competitor: ‘The already existing companies face challenges in terms of higher electricity costs and a drop in revenues generated from voice services, international calls and SMSs.’ Hanandeh partly blamed the use of applications such as WhatsApp, which allows users to send messages for free via the internet, for shrinking revenues. As previously noted by CommsUpdate the CEO of Orange Jordan, Jean-Francois Thomas fiercely criticised what he saw as a short-sighted and avaricious policy in the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (TRC’s) decision to leave an opening for a new operator in the spectrum auction launched last month: ‘Unfortunately, we all know that the government is facing difficult financial conditions and may want to sell another licence and get cash, but this is a short-term solution and a long-term nonsense.’