Operator Orascom Telecom Iraq Corp. (BVI), in which regional operator Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E of Egypt owns a 63 percent share, has chosen Motorola as its supplier of GSM base stations and transmission equipment for its network to provide communications services to the Iraqi people in Baghdad and the Central region. Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector (GTSS) will supply GSM infrastructure to Orascom Telecom Iraq Corp. (OTI) for its new mobile network in a contract worth up to $40 million. Motorola will be the main supplier for the Central region for the two-year duration of the network license in a full turnkey contract.
OTI is the first licensee to provide comprehensive mobile telephony services in Iraq's Central Region. Operating under the service name "Iraqna," it is one of the three regional network operators that will form Iraq's first national mobile telecommunications network. Mr. Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of Orascom Telecom Holding, stated, "This award confirms Orascom Telecom's position as the leading operator in the region. We are happy to be a partner in the development of the New Iraq, and we will do our best to contribute to its prosperity by bringing this highly demanded service to its people and creating a better future."
Licenses to build and operate the three regional networks were awarded to operators on October 6, 2003. The first coverage from these networks in Iraq's North, Central and South regions is expected to begin within weeks, with Motorola starting delivery of equipment to Orascom immediately. More than 1 million subscribers in the region are expected to receive voice services during the two-year duration of the licenses.
Motorola was chosen for its extensive experience in the region, in which it provides 2G and 2.5G infrastructure for leading national carriers, and its ability to meet the need for rapid deployment of the new networks, a key condition of the license awards. Motorola has a strong relationship with Orascom, supplying 100 percent of the base stations for Orascom's network in Pakistan and almost 60 percent of its joint network with Orange in Egypt.
Jeff Cherif, vice president, Motorola, and general manager of Middle East and Africa, Motorola GTSS, commented: "Establishing a nationwide mobile telecommunications network is an important step in addressing the economic and social needs of the Iraqi people. Motorola is pleased to be working with its long-time strategic partner Orascom in helping build a substantial telecommunications sector in Iraq."
A portion of the purchase price will be financed by Motorola.