The Commission of Media & Communications (CMC) in Iraq is the first of its kind in the Middle East in terms of converged regulation between the media and communications. That is due to the fact that the separation between them constitutes an obstacle in the way of their growth and development. According to the Iraqi Constitution, CMC is an independent authority that does not associate to any other governmental entity, aims to regulate and develop the media and telecommunications sectors in Iraq under the modern international criteria.
Zain Iraq is a mobile phone operator in Iraq owned by the Zain group. The company was formed in December 2007 after Zain purchased Iraqna from Orascom Telecom for US$1.2 billion, and merged it with its existing Iraqi operator MTC Atheer.
Acia Cell Telecom Company, STC (Arabic: شركة اسيا سيل للاتصالات) is an Iraqi telecommunications company that offers mobile phone services and Mobile Internet. Asiacell, the first mobile telecommunications company in Iraq, was established in the city of Suleimaniah in 1999. Asiacell began its first commercial operations in 2000.
Despite developing in leaps and bounds in post-war Iraq, the telecoms industry still holds much growth potential. The main story of telecommunications in Iraq continues to be mobile. Prior to the 2003 Iraq war mobile telecoms did not exist in most of Iraq outside the Kurdish areas. Since then mobile penetration has reached levels indicative of market maturity. Four operators share the market but Zain of Kuwait’s subsidiary Zain Iraq has much the largest market share, with well over 50% of the market. Asiacell, which counts Qtel of Qatar as a major shareholder, has just over a third of the market. The market’s unrealised growth potential continues to attract international investment, most notably in early 2011 when France Telecom acquired a stake in one of the two remaining minor players.
Area: Total: 438,317 sq km Land: 437,367 sq km Water: 950 sq km
Cities: BAGHDAD (capital) 5.751 million; Mosul 1.447 million; Erbil 1.009 million; Basra 923,000; As Sulaymaniyah 836,000 (2009)
Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Climate: Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers, northern mountainous regions
Nationality: Noun: Iraqi(s) Adjective: Iraqi
Population: 30,399,572 (July 2011 est.)
Annual population growth rate: 2.399% (2011 est.)
Language: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Turkoman (a Turkish dialect), Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic), Armenian
Type: Parliamentary democracy
Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Constitution: Ratified 15 October 2005
Branches: Chief of state: President Jalal TALABANI; Vice Presidents Tariq al-HASHIMI and Khudayr Musa Jafar Abbas al-KHUZAI; head of government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI; cabinet: Council of Ministers consists of ministers appointed by the Presidency Council plus the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers
Political parties: Badr Organization; Da'wa al-Islamiya Party; Da'wa Tanzim; Da-wa Tanzim; Fadilah Party; Hadba Gathering; Iraqi Charter Assembly; Iraqi Constitutional Party; Iraqi Front for National Dialogue; Iraqi Islamic Party; Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement; Iraqi National Congress; Iraqi National Accord; Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq; Kurdistan Democratic Party; National Gathering; National Movement for Reform and Development; National Reform Trend; Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Renewal List; Sadrist Trend; Sahawa al-Iraq; Tawafuq Front
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Nominal GDP: $113.4 billion (2010 est.)
GDP per capita: $3,800 (2010 est.)
Annual GDP growth rate: 0.8% (2010 est.)
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Agriculture: wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
Industry: petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
Trade: Export - US 24.3%, India 16.7%, China 12.1%, South Korea 8.2%, Italy 6.9%, Japan 6.6% (2010) Import - Turkey 24.2%, Syria 18.6%, China 14.4%, US 6.6% (2010)
The dinar (Arabic: دينار, Kurdish: دینار) (sign: د.ع; code: IQD) is the currency of Iraq. It is issued by the Central Bank of Iraq and is sub-divided into 1,000 Fils (فلس), although inflation has rendered the Fils obsolete.
As part of the application process for a short code, you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF).
There are currently no written regulations at the time of writing for Iraq. Your CCF will still be evaluated to ensure your service is delivering value for money and is honest and fair. You should ensure that pricing and support is included on your promotion.
Messages Flow Requirements
There are currently no written regulations at the time of writing for Iraq. Your CCF will still be evaluated to ensure your service is delivering value for money and is honest and fair.
For Iraq, generally, you can offer any services as long as it doesn’t contradict with the habits of the country, so the following topics are not allowed in Iraq:
- Gambling (Casinos, lotteries, etc …) but the sweepstakes or the raffles are not allowed, it’s generally offered under the form of luck games or competitions, but we don’t recommend it and we kindly ask you to send the details of any application which could be considered as such to check it before launch.
And definitely fraud applications, which sends SMS to any short code without the user approval.
We operate on Mobile Originated (MO) billed lines and Mobile Terminated (MT) for subscriptions on dedicated lines in Iraq. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.
Short codes and Keywords
On our dedicated code in Iraq, we operate on a 4 digit short code for each carrier. Adult content is not available.
The current Iraq rate of tax is available via Wikipedia. The out-payments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown.
Dedicated codes are available with a 2 - 5 week lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on their backlog, the time of year, price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in Iraq via the txtNation Gateway.
Iraq has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations:
- Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services
- WAP Billing
Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Iraq include:
- HLR Lookup
- Bulk SMS
Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in Iraq of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in Iraq. Please contact your account manager for more information.