Iraq has set $300 million as the starting price for three 15-year mobile licenses that five consortiums will bid for in Amman from Thursday, the communications minister said.
“The price will start from a certain level which is $300 million plus 18 percent revenue sharing,” Communications Minister Mohammed Allawi told Reuters on Thursday ahead of the auction.
The 15-year licenses replace three short-term contracts awarded soon after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The bidders include current operators Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holdings, Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co MTC, and AsiaCell, said Siyamend Othman, head of the National Communications and Media Commission.
Depending on the offers, the bids will rise $50 million at each round with the minimum 18 percent revenue sharing set in the auction possibly rising, Allawi said.
Revenue sharing is currently 13 percent, he said.
Allawi said the winning bidders would be announced on Aug 20 in a two-day process.
Iraq was not considering more licenses beyond the existing three, he added.
“At the end of the day we want three companies…The winners could be newcomers or the same old ones or a combination of both,” Allawi added.
The other two bidders are leading Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell (TCELL.IS) and Korek Telecom, which operates in Erbil, Othman told Reuters.
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