Kalimat to launch DTV services in Iraq, Kuwait

Iraqi fixed wireless operator Kalimat Telecom has signed a US$25 million deal with Hong Kong-based PCCW to launch IPTV and mobile TV services in Iraq and Kuwait.
Kalimat plans to launch mobile TV and IPTV services in Iraq and Kuwait later this year.
Kalimat plans to launch mobile TV and IPTV services in Iraq and Kuwait later this year.

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Iraqi fixed wireless operator Kalimat Telecom has signed a US$25 million deal with Hong Kong based operator PCCW to launch IPTV and mobile TV services in Iraq and Kuwait.

Under the 50/50 joint venture, Kalimat will provide the carrier services while PCCW will run the operation and provide the content.

The service will offer a wide choice of TV channels, video-on-demand and music-on-demand to Kalimat subscribers on their handsets and TV sets. The service is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of 2009 or early 2010, explained Wilson Varghese, CEO of Kalimat. 

“Iraq now depends mostly on satellite channels so we thought this would be a good jump to a very professional IPTV service, with a wider choice for customers in their living rooms and on their mobile devices,” he said. “We are hoping to have around 600,000 subscribers to the service within the next two years.”

In a separate development, Kalimat has entered a deal with one of Iraq’s GSM operators. Under the deal, the undisclosed GSM operator will offer its subscribers access to Kalimat’s fixed-wireless service as part of a bundle.

Subscribers to this service will be able to use a dual SIM handset to access GSM mobile services throughout Iraq, and then switch seamlessly to lower cost ‘fixed’ services and international calls using Kalimat’s CDMA operation. The GSM operator will also benefit by being able to offer its subscribers 4G services via Kalimat’s network, including mobile TV.

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