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Orange Jordan to Draw on Experience, Equipment of France Telecom for 3G Service

Jordan’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has awarded a 15-year UMTS licence to the country’s leading mobile operator Orange Jordan, for which the company paid JOD50 million (US$70 million). Its parent company France Telecom will provide technological support and expertise, enabling Orange Jordan to launch its WCDMA network within the next six months. The operator will enjoy a one-year exclusivity period.

Orange Jordan will utilise France Telecom Group's experience and equipment to introduce the Third Generation (3G) service in the Kingdom within six months, Nayla Khawam, the chief executive officer of Jordan Telecom Group (JTG) (Orange Jordan), said Wednesday.

Khawam said the French group will support JTG in building the infrastructure for 3G network in the Kingdom after the JTG won a licence Monday to introduce the 3G services, which include ability to make video calls.

Describing the introduction of services within six months as a technical and operational challenge, she indicated that the process will be activated through several phases.

On Monday, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) granted JTG a licence to introduce the 3G services in return for JD50 million and rejected an offer by Zain, which the TRC said asked for more incentives and exemptions.
The JTG bid for a tender floated by the TRC in May to introduce the service, but the commission rejected the group’s technical offers as it did not meet its conditions. JTG has recently submitted another offer along with Zain.

We are very pleased to have won this licence. Offering the 3G mobile services has long been awaited by both us and Jordanian customers, Khawam told a press conference.

We have showed serious commitment throughout the ongoing talks that we conducted and the offers that we provided and today our continued efforts have resulted in positioning us as the exclusive mobile operator to provide 3G services in the local market, she said.

Khawam pointed out that JTG pitched for this tender despite the very high price of JD50 million, asked by the TRC, and the difficulty in accomplishing its economic feasibility.

The JTG will enjoy a year of exclusivity from the moment of commercially operating the service after which other mobile operators will be allowed to introduce 3G services should they meet the same conditions met by JTG for introducing the service.

Furthermore, Khawam expressed her appreciation for the strong cooperation between TRC and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and their enthusiasm to launch 3G services in the Jordanian market.

Winning this licence reflects our commitment to achieve the vision of His Majesty King Abdullah for improving the telecommunications sector in the region and transforming Jordan into a regional ICT hub. JTG is continuously committed to providing the best in communication solutions in line with global standards. JTG will continue to deliver the same level of exceptional service and will ensure that this efficiency will also be reflected in its 3G services, she said.
3G frequencies service is a fairly new service in the field of telecommunication industry and forms an important turning point in making visual phone calls, sending and receiving multimedia messages, providing fast and efficient wireless internet connection, in addition to providing better audio coverage.