Viewing cable 03AMMAN3055
Title: JORDAN TELECOM EXPLORING IRAQI MARKET OPTIONS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03AMMAN30552003-05-22 12:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Amman
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS AMMAN 003055 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/PTHANOS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECPS ETRD EAID JO IZ
SUBJECT: JORDAN TELECOM EXPLORING IRAQI MARKET OPTIONS 
 
Sensitive but unclassified, please protect accordingly. 
 
¶1.  (sbu)  Summary:  Senior management staff from Jordan 
Telecom called on ECONOFF May 15 to inquire about commercial 
opportunities for provision of mobile telecoms service in 
Iraq and to ask for requirements and procedures for importing 
telecoms equipment into Iraq on a commercial basis.  JTC sees 
an immediate need for telecoms service throughout Iraq, and 
believes it can make an immediate positive impact on the 
telecoms situation in the country.  The JTC visit highlights 
the aggressive approach some companies here are taking to 
break into the market.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  (sbu)  ECONOFF met senior staff from Jordan Telecom (JTC, 
majority owned and operated by France Telecom) at their 
request Thursday, May 15, to discuss commercial opportunities 
and procedural hurdles to conducting private business in 
Iraq.  JTC Director of International Telecoms Mohamad 
Karmash, Director of Operations and Maintenance Ahmad Bani 
Hani, and Director of the JTC Fund Mohammad al-Hiyari told 
ECONOFF that JTC is ready "today" to move into Iraq on a 
limited basis to offer mobile telecoms service in areas of 
particular need.  The reps stressed that they were interested 
in establishing this service on a commercial basis, and could 
initially provide point-to-point systems supported by small 
microwave towers for a few hundred clients.  In due time, 
they said they could fairly easily expand this service with 
support from their systems in Jordan, including use of JTC's 
VSAT and extension of a nearly-completed fiber-optic link to 
the Iraqi border (which they said would be ready in two 
months). 
 
¶3.  (sbu)  In a separate conversation April 24, Muna Nijem, 
Chairwoman of the Board and CEO of the Jordanian 
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), also 
mentioned Jordan Telecom's interest in assisting with the 
re-establishment of the telephone system in Iraq.  She went 
further to offer TRC's assistance in creating an Iraqi 
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission modeled on Jordan's 
efforts. 
 
¶4.  (sbu)  JTC's reps said they have been deluged with 
requests from local and international businesses, NGO's and 
private citizens to bring some sort of telecoms service to 
Iraq.  They said businesses, in particular, were complaining 
loudly about the inability to contact suppliers, 
distributors, and consignees, making normal commerce next to 
impossible.  The reps asked what documentation would be 
necessary and what procedures would have to be followed to 
import on a commercial basis the necessary equipment to set 
up such a limited system (including satellite dishes, 
handsets, microwave equipment, and the like).  ECONOFF 
promised to look into the existing import protocols, but 
cautioned that Iraq was still subject to UN sanctions, under 
which much of the equipment they listed could well be 
considered "dual-use" items. 
 
¶5.  (sbu)  Comment:  JTC is aggressively pursuing a clearly 
perceived market opportunity, and notes that Kuwaiti 
companies have constructed similar set-ups in southern Iraq, 
but does not want to run afoul of import restrictions or 
other vagaries of the current system that could keep them 
from transporting the equipment they need to build a workable 
system.  Embassy would appreciate Washington guidance 
regarding (a) current policy toward allowing commercial 
mobile service providers to establish operations in Iraq; and 
(b) current regulations and/or procedures for clearing 
commercial goods across land or sea borders, and any relevant 
registrations - either with civil or military authorities - 
that would be required for the conduct of commercial trade in 
Iraq. 
GNEHM