Qatar names mobile shortlist

UAE telecoms service provider Etisalat is one of the 12 firms selected by ictQATAR to bid for Qatar's second mobile phone licence.

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By  Michele Howe Published  July 3, 2007

UAE telecoms service provider Etisalat is one of the 12 firms selected by ictQATAR to bid for Qatar's second mobile phone licence.

ictQATAR, the Supreme Council for Information and Communications Technology, announced yesterday that 12 companies in total had pre-qualified for the second mobile licence application process in the country.

Other Middle East candidates given the go ahead included MTC, Jordan Telecom and Orascom Telecom.

AT&T, ACE consortium (operator Airtel), Argos consortium (operator Verizon), Digicel, QUIC consortium (operators Omantel and Belgacom), Reliance Telecom and Vodafone were also pre-qualified for the licence.

"We were delighted by both the number and quality of the applications we received," ictQATAR's secretary general Dr Hessa Al Jaber said. "The list includes important regional and international operators. This is a very good start to the process of bringing benefits to consumers through competition."

Qatar, home to 840,000 people with a mobile penetration rate of more than 100%, is the last of the six Gulf states to open its telecom market to competition after the UAE awarded a second mobile licence last year.

The regulatory authority said it expects to award the licence in October.

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