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‘Zain Jordan to introduce 4G services by year end’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 15,2014 - Last updated at Apr 15,2014

AMMAN — Zain Jordan is expected to introduce Fourth Generation (4G) services that enable data transfer rates of up to 150 megabits per second by the end of this year, telecom officials told reporters on Tuesday.

Zain Jordan, a unit of Kuwaiti-based Mobile Telecommunications Co., has acquired frequencies that enable it to provide 4G services in return for JD142 million, and the company also acquired other frequencies for JD50 million to enhance and expand its third generation network.

“Zain Jordan has about eight to nine months to launch the service commercially in the Kingdom,” ICT Minister Azzam Sleit said.

The government had invited the country’s three operators —  Zain Jordan, Orange Jordan and Umniah — to submit requests to acquire frequencies to provide 4G services after it turned down bids from two companies.

The government received offers from KULACOM Jordan and a US-based company called “Ameriphone” to provide 4G services, but the bids were rejected as they were not in line with the tender’s conditions.

“The price we got from Zain for the 4G licence is higher than the prices we got through the two bids we received earlier this year,” the minister noted.

Mohammad Taani, chief commissioner of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), said the door is open for the other two operators to apply for 4G frequencies.

“There will be no exclusivity for Zain Jordan. Any other operator can acquire frequencies to introduce the services at any time,” Taani said at the press conference.

He noted that the remaining operators have shown interest in acquiring 4G frequencies.

Mobile penetration in Jordan reached 156 per cent at the end of 2013, with 10.3 million mobile subscriptions, according to TRC figures.

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