Thursday, June 25, 2009

MTN Says It Won't Make Losses in Iran

South Africa's MTN has denied reports that its Iranian subsidiary
would lose at least a month's worth of operating income due to the
ongoing political strife in the country. The networks have been
ordered to shut down their SMS services and it is reported that voice
calls are sometimes being restricted in some cities.

"MTN network is running in Iran and there is nothing wrong with it,"
MTN Group spokeswoman Nozipho Januray-Bardill told the Reuters news

MTN holds a minority 49% stake in the Iranian network, while 51% was
allocated to the Iran Electronic Development Company (IEDC).

Iran has two main networks, the incumbent state operator, TCI - which
the Mobile World estimates ended Q1 '09 with just over 30 million
customers and 60% of the market. Irancell ended the month with 18.3
million customers. There are also a few small regional operators with
negligible subscriber bases.

Plans by the Iranian government to award a third mobile license was
thrown into confusion last month when the original winner was
disqualified and the regulator claimed to be talking to other

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