Thursday, July 15, 2004

Gulf Daily News

Gulf Daily News: "Iran's mobile sector strong


TEHRAN: Government officials and independent analysts this week forecast a bright future for Iran's mobile telephone sector, which they say has probably the highest growth potential of any market in the Middle East.
But analysts cautioned that strong investor interest in the country of 67 million people could be undermined by perceived risks in Iran's regulatory structure.
'With investment from foreign operators almost guaranteed in Iran due to its high potential for growth, how quickly this investment moves into the telecoms sector will depend on Iran's regulatory development,' said Lucy Norton, telecoms analyst with UK-based World Markets Research Centre.
Speaking at a regional telecommunications conference in Tehran, Norton said clear rules on issues such as the granting of new licences and interconnection between different operators were 'essential to maintaining the high level of foreign operator interest in Iran'.
Other analysts noted the Communications and Information Technology Ministry's decision to retain supervisory and regulatory authorities instead of setting up an independent regulator created concerns that it could be biased in favour of the state-run operator in the market."

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