Mobile Phone

Iraq is one of the slowest countries that used cellular phones. The reason behind that lies in the nature of the former regime and the implications of its policies on the vitality of many of the life facilities in Iraq.

After the removal of the former regime, cellular phone service entered Iraq in a limited manner. It was dominated by poor management and organization derived from the absence of a professional entity to lead the process along with lack of sufficient expertise to manage the communications sector of critical importance, whether at the level of the national economy or the level of providing such services to the public.

The first commercial cellular mobile licenses in the post-Saddam era were issued in December 2003, one each for the North, Central (including the Capital) and South regions. These were fixed two-year term licenses, each of these licenses expires on midnight of December 21, 2005. It was clear that these licenses lack many regulatory aspects and conditions that determine the appropriate procedures for the cellular phone companies, because the licensing terms did not include the timely provision for extension, nor the right to refuse the extension after the expiration of the two-year period.

In June 2005, the CMC announced its intention to commence the process of granting long-term licenses (of 15 – 20 years) for cellular telephone services.

In this regard, The CMC developed lengthy studies and general consultations to outline the necessary conditions and regulatory framework to directly contain various details on the wages of companies, the roll-out coverage of highly populated areas in Iraq. The studies focused as well on the quality of service provided by the winning companies along with the technical and engineering specifications with respect to the establishment of the networks.

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