The number of subscribers using Zain Jordanís 3G services reached 700,000 by the end of 2011, according to the companyís CEO Ahmad Al Hanandeh. The chief executive told local daily The Jordan Times that the number was likely to double in 2012, as a result of legislation exempting smartphones from tax. In August last year, the government removed the sales tax on high-end handsets, reducing the price to end users by between JOD88 and JOD100 (USD123.77 and USD140.65). Zain launched its 3G service in March last year and had signed up 41,000 subscribers by the end of that month. Jordanís third mobile provider, Bahrain-backed Umniah, announced late last year that, having previously abstained from 3G offerings on the grounds that the market was not ready, it too would launch a foray into the 3G sector in 2012. In its announcement, Umniah noted that the increasing availability of smartphones had influenced its decision.