The government of Iraq is to fine Kuwait-based Zain, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, around USD18.6 million for poor service provision, Reuters reports. The cabinet has also decided to fine two smaller Iraqi-owned cellcos, Asiacell and Korek Telecom, just over USD1 million each for continuously failing to meet minimum standards of service. ‘Monetary fines have been imposed on the firms for continuing bad service,’ said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh in a statement, adding: ‘They should respect the contracts and the conditions laid down by the government.’
According to CommsUpdate, Iraq’s finance minister Bayan Jabor warned the trio in late April that their coverage had worsened over the last two months. The three operators were awarded a 15-year national GSM-900/1800 licence in August 2007 for the upfront price of USD1.25 billion, plus an 18.5% revenue-sharing agreement.