Nytex

In Brief: Orange Extends Jordanian License to 2029 

Jordan's telecoms regulator, the TRC has settled a dispute with the local mobile network, Orange over the renewal of its GSM operating license. As part of the settlement, Orange is dropping a call for international arbitration and other legal claims against the regulator.Orange has been in dispute with the TRC for the past couple of years when it protested at what it saw as excessive fees to renew its GSM license, and an annual radio spectrum levy.Under the new agreement the regulator is granted a renewed license that will see Orange able to operate until 2029 and will also be technology neutral, as it is highly likely that GSM would have ceased to be available by then anyway.

***Safaricom,Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has revealed the full commercial availability of its 4G LTE network in the cities of Nairobi,Mombasa,Kisumu,Nakuru,Eldoret,Meru and Kisii, bringing the total number of counties covered by the service up to 30. The firm has embarked on a rollout programme to install an additional 500 4G base stations before the end of the year, which will increase the firm’s 3G and 4G footprint to more than 4,600 sites across the country.Safaricom is currently the market’s sole provider of commercial LTE services, which were launched on a limited basis in Nairobi and Mombasa in December 2014.The director general of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said that the regulator reportedly plans to issue 4G spectrum licences to the country’s three incumbent mobile operators by the end of November. Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya will allegedly each be required to pay a fee of USD25 million for the 800MHz concessions.

***Ooredoo reported that third-quarter net profit fell 51% compared to last year due to foreign exchange losses.Revenue for the three months to 30 September edged up 2% year-on-year to 8.35 billion riyals (€2.09 billion), and EBITDA increased 3% to QAR3.68 billion.Net earnings came in at QAR370 million, down from QAR756 million. Analysts polled by Reuters predicted a quarterly profit of QAR499.3 million.Ooredoo's customer base saw solid growth, coming in at 133 million compared to 115 million a year ago. The Qatar-based telco said the increase was driven by its operations in Indonesia, Myanmar, Oman, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, the Maldives and Palestine.

***Israeli mobile network operator (MNO) Cellcom has announced that it has gained approval for a network sharing and hosting agreement with Marathon 018 Xfone from the Israeli Antitrust Authority (IAA). Cellcom noted that while the IAA had given its blessing to the agreement, it had done so only subject to the annulment of ‘a certain provision’, though no further details were provided on what this was.Despite the IAA having given the green light for the deal, the proposed network sharing deal between Cellcom and 018 Xfone still requires the approval of the Ministry of Communications.

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