Unnamed cellco abandons boycott for 4G spectrum

9 Apr 2014

One of Jordan’s three wireless providers has broken ranks and submitted an official request to acquire 4G frequencies, effectively breaking the trio’s boycott of the spectrum, regional news outlet Al Bawaba cites a government official as saying. Jordan’s three cellcos – Zain Jordan, Umniah and Orange Jordan – refused to take part in last year’s auction for the frequencies in protest against the government’s decision in July 2013 to double the taxes on mobile phones and services to 16% and 24% respectively. ICT Minister Azzam Sleit commented that the door remains open for the other two operators, adding that both had showed an interest in the Long Term Evolution (LTE)-suitable frequencies and that they could apply at any time for the spectrum. The minister stopped short of naming which cellco had filed for the frequencies, however. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, with the incumbents boycotting the sale, the mid-2013 spectrum auction attracted just two bidders – Kulacom and Ameriphone – both of which were rejected by the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) in February 2014 for failing to meet the terms of the tender.