When we asked the people of Jaffna what good came of the ceasefire of 2002-05, they said phones and the opening of the road connecting them to the rest of Sri Lanka. Looks like the Iraqis are similar. I love my mobile like a baby, says on Iraqi mother. De facto m-payments are also significant, though there are some problems, according to the Economist. Criminal rings are among the parallel currency’s busiest users.
Iraq has sold three mobile phone licences for $3.75 billion to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC), AsiaCell and Iraq’s Korek Telecom. The three firms, which already run networks in the war-torn country, made the highest bids in an auction in the Jordanian capital that began on Thursday. TurkCell and Egypt’s Orascom had also bid for licences but dropped out of the race for one of the few sectors to thrive amid Iraq’s instability and crumbling infrastructure. The fixed-line network was hit by sanctions after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and by bombing during the U.
India’s MTNL, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications along with France Telecom, South Africa’s Telkom, British Telecom and Kuwait’s Alkazar are vying for a 51 per cent controlling share of Kenya’s sole provider of fixed line services. In Nairobi last week the plan to privatise Telkom Kenya was presented in detail at a two-day government-inspired and sponsored conference. It was very successful and the proposed sell-off of the the East African country’s state-run incumbent has now attracted seven potential bidders. Read more.