Batelco confirms Saudi fixed line success

A consortium led by Bahraini telco Batelco has confirmed its place as one of the three successful applicants to operate a fixed-line network in Saudi Arabia.

  • E-Mail
By  Ronan Shields Published  April 23, 2007

A consortium led by Bahraini telco Batelco has confirmed its place as one of the three successful applicants to operate a fixed-line network in Saudi Arabia. Batelco confirmed the news when company CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos told members of the press that the US$226 million Atheeb/Batelco operation had been granted approval by the Saudi Arabian Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC). “Subject to satisfying a world defined approval process, outlined by CITC and also after receiving approval from the Council of Ministers, the Atheeb/Batelco consortium will be able to launch fixed telecommunication services,” said Kaliaropoulos. Batelco will hold a 15% stake in the operation, with 25% of the consortium’s shares to be sold off in an IPO prior to it starting operations in accordance with CITC guidelines. The government will also hold a 10% share in the firm. The consortium, which also includes Saudi conglomerate Atheeb Group, will pay a fee of US$133 million if it gets approval to offer radio spectrum services. The group also revealed its plans to roll out broadband internet, voice and data services using WiMAX technology as part of its deployment. “We plan to deploy various fixed and wireless technologies which will enable consumers and businesses to benefit from innovation and competition,” added Kaliaropoulos. Consortia led by Hong Kong's PCCW and U.S. Verizon Communications also received initial approval to offer fixed-line services in Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s largest telecommunications market. PCCW’s Al-Mutakamilah operation has applied for spectrum allocation, as has the Atheeb/Batelco outfit, while Verizon’s Optical Communication Co. consortium has not. Abdul Rahman Al Fehaid, the deputy governor at the CITC, said the consortia should be able to start commercial services within a year of receiving their licences.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code