AMMAN: Jordan Telecom Group, the country’s sole fixed-line operator, said on Wednesday its net profit in the first six months of 2010 fell 10.9 pct to 45.6 million dinars ($64.3 million) due to the cost of launching a 3G service.
The telecom group, in which France Telecom owns a 51 percent stake, said revenue at its integrated mobile, internet and fixed-line business was unchanged at 196 million dinars ($276 million).
The group attributed the lower profits compared to the same period last year to higher spending on the launch of third generation (3G) mobile internet services.
It is currently the only telecom operator providing the service and revenues from this new product was expected to improve the firm’s bottom line, according to analysts.
Industry executives say the group hopes its fast-growing data services business could offset a fall in the mobile phone market.
The group said its subscriber base grew 6.3 percent to 2.93 million compared to 2.75 million at end of 2009 due to its aggressive marketing policy .
The group has over 700,000 landlines and a mobile subsidiary Orange that has over 30 percent market penetration with over two million subscribers in the mobile phone which has seen a fierce turf war with its main competitor, Kuwait telecom operator Zain’s wholly owned Jordanian subsidiary.
Zain is the largest mobile operator in Jordan with around 2.5 million subscribers and a market share of 42 percent in a market with almost 100 percent penetration.