Etisalat Still Interested in Iran Mobile Licence

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest phone company, said the global economic crisis is creating acquisition opportunities and it is “still” interested in the Iranian market.

“Iran is a big market and our interest in it is still there,” said Etisalat’s Chief Strategy Officer Ali Al Ahmed in an interview in Beirut on Thursday. “We went there with a partner and that has been put off. But we are still keeping our options open now or in the near future.”

Etisalat said this month an agreement with Iran for a third mobile licence was cancel led. Etisalat and Iran’s Tamin Telecom were dropped because they failed to meet commitments stated in the bid, the Tehran-based newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad said on May 11, citing the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mohammad Soleimani.

“There are a lot of vulnerable telecom companies right now and the crisis has presented opportunities,” Al Ahmed said.