Six firms bid for Syrian mobile licence

Three Gulf incumbents are among the bidders for Syria's third mobile licence

Tags: Etisalat International - UAEQatar TelecomQtel International InvestmentSaudi Telecom CompanySyria
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Six firms bid for Syrian mobile licence Six companies have entered the bidding process for Syria's third mobile licence.
By  Roger Field Published  November 17, 2010

Six companies, including Arab and foreign firms, have submitted bids for Syria's third mobile licence, according to Syria's official news agency.

The companies include Etisalat, STC, Qtel, Turkcell, France Telecom, and Iranian company, Tamco.

Mohammed al-Jalali, Syria's assistant minister of communications and technology, said that candidates will be selected to enter the second stage of the contest by a joint committee from Syria's ministry of communications and a German advisory company, according to the report.

The government of Syria announced in August that it would launch an auction for a third mobile phone licence, with an initial application deadline of November 14.

The government is also expected to award the country's two existing mobile operators, Syriatel and MTN Syria, full mobile licences.

Syria's mobile market is currently dominated by Syriatel and MTN Syria, which both operate under build, operate and transfer licences.

With a population of some 20.5 million people, and a mobile penetration rate of about 44%, Syria is widely viewed as one of the Middle East's last untapped mobile markets.

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