Interview with Ahmad Hanandeh – CEO of Zain Jordan

Interview with Ahmad Hanandeh – CEO of Zain Jordan

While I was hoping to catch Mr. Handandeh at the MENA ICT Forum as I had with Orange Jordan’s CEO, a competitive and conflicting schedule seemed to complicate matters, but that didn’t stop the MENAICT Forum’s PR Team to get me in touch via email to ask a few sleepless questions that keep me wondering sometimes.

 ZainLteSleepless:  Why don’t the operators in Jordan utilize internet peering and how does it affect the economy and the consumer if they do? 

Mr. Hanandeh: Peering can be utilized for sure; it should result in Internet bandwidth savings and accordingly less cost to pay for the international carriers; yet the volume of hosted services in operator’s clouds is not significant and hence the advantages of peering is not really touchable , the more the hosted content in operator’s cloud the more the need for such peering.

 Sleepless Side Note: It is also worth mentioning that P2P traffic accounts for a large chunk of the internet traffic and specially in Jordan. Jordanians should still be able to communicate with one another even in the case of an international internet fault.

Sleepless: How do you feel about the role of the TRC (Telecommunication Regulatory Commission)? Are they proactive or a reactive role? It’s a shame that orange announced their 4G out of what is being referred to in the media as a loop hole while Zain has actually paid for the license?

Mr. Hanandeh:  Generally the role of any regulatory especially a telecom & IT sector one, should be as much proactive as possible.

Jordan ICT sector has proved to be a very dynamic one, and can adopt newer technologies at very fast pace.

ICT sector, is in need for a dynamic, agile & very competent regulatory which can anticipate the change & innovation, and will strive to ensure & facilitate healthy & smooth running ICT sector


Sleepless: What investment do we expect to see from Zain in ground infrastructure for home users such as FTTH (Fiber to Home)

Mr. Hanandeh: Zain, and as part of its continuous efforts to provide a state of the art infrastructure and technology to its customers, and as part of its strategy to accommodate our customers sophisticated demands for content and superior Internet services, has made a decision to expand its current portfolio of wired services to include an end to end Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) infrastructure, this service allows Zain to provide a higher bandwidth, reaching 1 Gigabit per second that delivers robust, secured internet along with making it easier and more efficient. Examples such as:  HD-IPTV, voice, and online gaming services, accompanied by a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Regarding the investments of (Fiber – To- Home) FTTH services, Zain plans to cover the major cities across the kingdom with expected investment around 50 Million JOD in the coming 5 years.

– Interview End – 

While I enjoyed the answers of this interview, I felt that perhaps the Mr. Handandeh that is well known for being extra blunt was actually being politically correct or a diplomat by dodging the question about the TRC allowing Orange Jordan to launch their 4G internet while Zain Jordan has paid 192 Million Jordanian Dinars for the license.

While most Jordanians are not tech savvy, rest assured, even a humble blogger like me, at my age is able to tell that something is wrong with that equation. As it seems anyone with a scarce resource license can purchase a spectrum from TRC and operate any technology on that purchase spectrum. But how does the TRC sell a spectrum or a license and not protect the investors is beyond me.

Orange Jordan might have utilized available spectrum in the 2G or 3G space, which was previously allocated by the TRC for 2G and 3G Services. Obviously that space is sufficient to serve such technologies. Utilizing 4G on an existing and already dense spectrum does not really accomplish the available advancement that 4G provides worldwide.

So I am just wondering; when can we see the license that Zain Jordan has paid for effectively?


Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.

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