Speaking to Reuters recently, Iraq’s communications minister, Mohammed Allawi, said he believes the auction for a fourth mobile phone operator license at the end of this year could fetch between $1 billion and $2 billion. Similarly, Allawi said that the licensing fees, installation and equipment required to install a new network would cost between $1 billion and $2 billion. 40% of the revenues raised from the auction would be given to the mobile operator, 35% would be given to the public, and the final 25% would be given to Iraq’s communication ministry. In 2007 AsiaCell, Korek Telcom, and Zain paid $1.25 billion each for 15-year mobile phone operator licenses. Allawi hopes that the fourth license will be used for faster data networks. “Regarding the fourth license, the most important thing about it is that we are going for more advanced technology,” Allawi said. “Until this moment, we have no 3G in Iraq, we have no 4G. We have only GSM.” More →
The fourth largest carrier in the US (behind AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) is in the midst of putting up a big fight against the FCC. T-Mobile, along with the support of AT&T and CTIA, contends that the AWS-3 spectrum the FCC is auctioning off will interfere with the AWS-1 spectrum that T-Mobile uses. If startup M2Z networks wins the auction, it plans to use the space to make mobile WiMax nationally available – and free. The FCC asserts that the technology available will override any possible interference between the two spectra and thinks the auction should go on as planned. Kathleen Ham, T-Mobile’s VP of regulatory affairs responded to the decision to proceed with the auction by saying, “We’re disappointed with those results obviously. The commission takes all this time and effort and lo and behold, they come up with the exact same results they came up with in May.” Ham went on to say, “Obviously the chairman made up his mind but there are four other commissioners.” Burn! Ham certainly sounds a little upset, however M2Z claims that Ham, along with everyone else trying to prevent the AWS-3 auction, is just trying to block them from providing a free service. Of course Ham adds that T-Mobile is too busy competing with the big boys, making the effective blockage of M2Z of little or no importance. All they’re concerned about is the AWS interference. T-Mobile says that using a technique called “asymmetrical pairing” would avoid any AWS-3 interference but M2Z has yet to acknowledge or comment on that. We find that to be a little odd and may put M2Z’s intentions into question. It would seem as though T-Mobile is totally cool with whatever M2Z wants to do so long as they take measures against interfering with T-Mobile’s line of business. We’ll wait for the auction to see what comes of it.