Telecoms & IT

Syriatel, one of the two mobile phone operators in Syria and the country’s largest private sector corporation by revenues, announced a doubling of its capital to SYP 3.35 billion.
Access to Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and many other social media has been blocked for weeks in Syria, in a measure by the government to limit the supply and transfer of information to the outside world and within the country.
Syria’s ranking in the Network Readiness Index, a survey of the competitiveness of countries around the world in the telecommunications and IT sectors, stood at a dismal 124th in this year’s edition of the survey.
Rami Makhlouf, one of Syria’s most prominent businessmen, has no plans to sell his stake in Syriatel or leave the country, according to statements reported in the local press.
Internet service through the 3G mobile network resumed in Syria on Monday May 16 after it was interrupted for more than 10 days.
The Syrian Government has postponed indefinitely the auction for the award of a third GSM license planned for April 27 on the back of the current unrest gripping the country.
The Syrian Telecommunications Establishment has contracted Huawei to supply equipment to the Syrian section of the Regional Cable Network.
Three out of the five companies bidding for Syria’s third mobile phone license have dropped from the race only days before the deadline to submit formal bids, blaming terms, not the current unrest, for their decision.
The Syrian President has issued a law exempting subscribers to the telephone network from all taxes and fees on their unpaid bills provided they settle their debt within a year.
Etisalat has become the second company to announce that it would drop from the race for Syria’s third mobile phone license, citing unhappiness with the auction terms.
Syrian companies and individuals can now book their domain names in Arabic after the National Agency for Network Services launched on Sunday its registration service, according to SANA, the state’s news agency.
Turkcell is not interested in taking Syria’s third mobile phone license, the CEO of the Turkish company, which is among the 5 prelisted firms for this third license, said.
Syriatel and MTN-Syria posted 2-digit growth in their net revenues and after tax profits in 2010, according to their preliminary financial statements.
Syria allowed last week unrestricted access to Facebook and You Tube, although dozens of websites, including Amazon and the Arabic edition of Wikipedia, remain blocked.
The Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, has nominated the seven board members of the newly established Telecoms Supervisory Authority.


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