In an interview with Marcopolis.net, Ghada Gebara, CEO of Iraqi mobile operator Korek Telecom, has revealed that the cellco has achieved nationwide coverage, two years after France Telecom-Orange and its partner, logistics company Agility, struck an agreement to acquire a 44% stake in the Kurdistan-based company. Mrs Gebara, who hails from outside Kurdistan, and assumed the position of Korek CEO 18 months ago, stated: ‘Iraq and Kurdistan are booming. It is easy to invest here … A lot of effort was made by the government to facilitate investment; we have one of the best investment laws in the Middle East … Iraq is open for business, Kurdistan especially’.
Going forward, Mrs Gebara noted that Korek technically has the authorisation to launch a long-awaited 3G network, but currently lacks sufficient frequencies to do so. She admitted: ‘Our licence allows us to do it. The issue is that we need more bandwidth and to have that we need more frequencies. So we need the Communications and Media Commission (CMC), which is the regulatory authority in Iraq, to give us more frequencies. Unfortunately most of our 900MHz frequencies are ‘polluted’. If they can clean them for us, we can use them. If they can’t, they need to give us other frequencies to do it. They need to make a decision’.