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Qatar launches fixed-line liberalisation

Country's telecoms watchdog launches the licensing process for the country's second fixed-line operator.

Qatar's telecoms regulatory authority, ictQATAR, has commenced the second phase of market liberalisation by launching the licensing process for the country's second fixed-line operator.

The body published its ‘Procedures for Registering Expressions of Interest and Request for Comments' yesterday with ictQATAR secretary general Hessa Al-Jaber proclaiming the move as an "exciting milestone" for the country's telecoms market.

"We are looking for a fixed operator that can bring innovative technologies and new infrastructure to our country," she said.

Interested outfits have until September 9, 2007, to register interest, with the regulator expecting the licence to be awarded towards the end of the year following a ‘beauty contest' application process.

IctQATAR further stipulated that it was interested in expressions of interest from companies with a subscriber base in excess of 150,000.

The regulator recently announced a shortlist of 12 firms for the country's second mobile licence including regional operators MTC, Jordan Telecom and Orascom Telecom - as well as host of international operators - all in contention.

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