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‘Winning bid for 4G services to be announced by end of January’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 06,2014 - Last updated at Jan 06,2014

AMMAN — The government will announce the name of the investor with the winning bid to provide Fourth Generation telecom services before the end of this month, a senior official said Monday.

“We are in the final stages of studying two bids we received from two companies. The committee in charge of deciding on the best bid has been meeting for the past three months to choose the best offer,” ICT Minister Azzam Sleit said.

The 4G service includes data transfer rates of up to 150 megabits per second.

“The specialised committee that was formed to study the two bids will choose the offer that is in the interest of the Treasury and citizens,” he told The Jordan Times.

In June, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) opened five new radio frequencies, including 4G services, to enable faster mobile Internet use and announced in October that it received two bids.

The country’s three telecom operators — Orange Jordan, Zain Jordan and Umniah — have opposed the introduction of 4G technology in Jordan, describing the move as “premature”.

They also said issuing a licence to a fourth operator is unfeasible, arguing that it would harm the sector and reduce the government’s revenues, because “the Jordanian market is saturated”.

Mobile penetration in Jordan reached 155 per cent by the end of September 2013, with 10.227 million subscriptions, according to the TRC.

Internet penetration stood at 72 per cent at the end of the third quarter of 2013, with 4.864 million users, according to figures posted on the TRC website. 

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