US embassy cable - 02AMMAN4786

U.S. FIRM INTERESTED IN CALL CENTERS IN JORDAN

Identifier: 02AMMAN4786
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN4786 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-08-25 06:38:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: BEXP ECPS ECON IS JO OPIC
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 004786 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USTR FOR NOVELLI/SAUMS 
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/PTHANOS 
USDOC FOR TECHNOLOGY ADMINISTRATION - KEN FERGUSON 
OPIC FOR TARBUSH/COWAN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP, ECPS, ECON, IS, JO, OPIC 
SUBJECT: U.S. FIRM INTERESTED IN CALL CENTERS IN JORDAN 
 
1.  (u)  Summary.  In an initiative that it sees both as 
a promising business venture and an element of support 
for regional peace, the U.S. firm Stream International 
is seriously looking at Jordan as a site for an 
international call service center that would employ over 
300 technically skilled Jordanian workers.  Modeled on a 
venture in northern Ireland, the initiative could 
eventually be expanded to the West Bank and Gaza. 
Stream says that if it irons out some technical details, 
including telecommunications support, the project could 
be up and running next year.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (u)  Craig Weinstein, Director of Corporate Services 
of Massachusetts-based Stream International, visited 
Amman in early August to assess the potential of Jordan 
as a site for one of Stream's international call service 
centers (call centers).  Stream, a subsidiary of the 
U.S. electronics giant Solectron, currently has such 
centers in 24 U.S. and foreign locations, including 
Londonderry and Mumbai.  These facilities serve clients 
that include companies like Dell, Hewlett Packard, 
Microsoft and Morgan Stanley by providing centers that 
customers can call or email for technical and other 
service support.  In Jordan's case, a center would 
service Arabic-speaking callers from the region as well 
as English-speaking callers from North America and 
Europe. 
 
3.  (u)  Weinstein said that his company's interest in 
Jordan and the region more broadly was an outgrowth of 
its association with peace through economic development 
initiatives in northern Ireland.  He cited Senator 
Mitchell and the U.S. American International Group (AIG) 
as supporters of this work.  (The Ambassador had 
received an introductory letter for Weinstein from 
American International Group Vice Chairman Frank 
Wisner.)  Weinstein said that if the project was 
successful in Jordan, he foresaw similar operations in 
the West Bank and Gaza, the political environment 
permitting. 
 
4.  (u)  Weinstein, whose visit was coordinated by the 
palace's economic division and the local Century 
Investment Group, told the Ambassador and econ chief how 
he was impressed by the infrastructure he found in 
Jordan.  This included a favorable business climate, a 
good telecommunications infrastructure, and the 
availability of educated, technically-inclined and 
English-speaking potential employees.  The project 
involves a substantial training component for 300-400 
potential employees.  This includes training in call 
center management as well as in the technical subjects 
on which employees would provide phone support.  While 
further discussions were needed, Weinstein thought 
Stream could move relatively quickly, with 
groundbreaking later this year and a start-up in the 
first half of 2003.  The next steps will be discussed at 
a Solectron board of directors meeting in September and 
a conference in November at Ulster University that will 
review linkages between northern Ireland and the Middle 
East. 
 
5.  (u)  Among the issues requiring further discussion 
is access to telecommunications.  Weinstein said he had 
had positive discussions with the Minister of 
Telecommunications and Jordan Telecom (JT) about using 
(JT's) fiber optic links to Europe to carry the volume 
of telecom traffic initially expected.  Eventually, 
however, calls would have to be managed through a 
company-wide voice over IP network.  Voice over IP, 
however, is not currently permitted in Jordan in order 
to protect Jordan Telecom's international gateway 
monopoly.  Although the issue is being studied by both 
Jordan Telecom and by the new telecom regulator, this 
could therefore require some policy innovation. 
However, Weinstein did not think this would be a major 
obstacle, as a new closed network would not detract from 
the volume of Jordan Telecom's traffic.  We also called 
to his attention the fiber optic backbone project being 
developed by Seattle-based Real Time Communications. 
Berry 

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