Posts filed under ‘MegaFon’
The government of Iran is thought to have awarded the country’s third national mobile licence to a consortium headed by UAE-based telco Etisalat. A report from CellularNews which cites Iran’s semi-official news agency FARS says that Etisalat has beaten off rival bids from the likes of Omantel of Oman plus MegaFon and Vimpelcom of Russia. The government has said that the new cellular operator is expected to attract investment of around USD3 billion. Iran currently has two national cellular networks run by state-backed operator TCI and private firm MTN-Irancell, which have around 40 million customers between them. Another operator, Taliya, operates a sizeable regional network which serves around 1.5 million users, while there are also at least two other localised mobile networks with only a few thousand subscribers each.
Although the three 3G licence holders – MTS, Vimpelcom and MegaFon – have already deployed the necessary technology, a commercial rollout of services faces further delays as the Russian military has still not freed up UMTS frequencies. The Moscow Times cited comments from Alexander Malis, Vimpelcom’s director for broadband development , who said, ’First, the military promised to free the frequencies by 1 September this year. Now, they said it would be first quarter of next year…The excuses given varied from time to time, but the probable reason is that those making the decision lack any sense of urgency.’