(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 20--ZAIN IRAQ TO LAUNCH IPO BY JULY: Zain Iraq, a unit of Kuwait's Zain, has announced plans to sell shares by the end of the first half of 2013, as the country's biggest mobile phone operator follows a $1.3bn initial public offering by Qtel's Iraqi unit, Asiacell, Bloomberg has reported. Zain Iraq will list 25 percent of its shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange by the end of June, chief financial officer Wael Ghanayem told the news service. The company is in the final stages to convert into a shareholding company, Ghanayem said. Zain Iraq' profit climbed 6 percent in 2012 to $369m, and it expects "double-digit" growth this year, he said.
DU REPORTS $270M IN Q4 PROFIT ON TAX WRITE BACK: UAE telecoms operator Du has said its quarterly profit has more than doubled, as it wrote back tax provisions and saw an increase in its subscriber base, Reuters has reported. Du made a fourth-quarter net profit of Dhs994m ($270.62m)in the three months to December 31, up from Dhs440m in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue was Dhs2.74bn, compared with Dhs2.4bn a year ago. The firm paid Dhs844m in royalty fees for 2012, while pre-royalty net profit was Dhs2.82bn, which is equivalent to a tax rate of about 30 percent. This compares with 2011's royalty of Dhs715m and pre-royalty net profit of Dhs1.81bn, which equates to a tax rate of 39.5 percent.
ETISALAT AFGHANISTAN TO LAUNCH 4G SERVICE: Etisalat Afghanistan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UAE telecoms operator, has signed an agreement with the government to launch the country's first trial 4G network. In 2012, Etisalat Afghanistan became the first operator in the country to introduce 3G service. The firm launched operations in Afghanistan in August 2007.
NVIDIA UNVEILS FIRST LTE MOBILE PROCESSOR: Nvidia has unveiled a new mobile chip that integrates its app processor and 4G LTE on the same chip, Cnet has reported. The Tegra 4i processor is the company's first for the mobile phone market. "It's the first time we've had an integrated solution, and it radically changes the market availability for us," said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the company's mobile business. The processor includes 60 Nvidia GPU cores, a 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU based on ARM Holdings' R4 Cortex-A9 architecture, a fifth low-power CPU core, and a version of Nvidia's i500 LTE modem.
ZAIN JORDAN CALLS FOR REGULATING SMS, VOIP APPS: The Jordanian unit of Kuwait's Zain has said the local market does not need a fourth mobile operator, as the number of mobile subscribers already exceeds that of the population, Jordan Times has reported. Last month, the Telecoms Regulatory Commission said three local companies showed interest in obtaining licences to provide mobile telecoms, a move that Zain Jordan opposed. "The already existing companies face challenges in terms of higher electricity costs and a drop in revenues generated from voice services, international calls and from SMSs," said Zain Jordan's chief executive, Ahmad Al Hanandeh. "International SMSs for example is a dying business as mobile holders download apps from the internet such as WhatsApp and others, connect to the internet and make international calls and send SMSs for free," he explained, calling for regulating the commercial use of such apps.
OMAN EXPANDS MOBILE COVERAGE IN RURAL AREAS: Oman's Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced the construction of over 200 new stations in different parts of the sultanate, Times of Oman has reported. The move is the result of an agreement reached with telecom operators Omantel and Nawras to build more new stations to cover 250 villages in the different governorates, the regulator said.
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