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Bahrain to allow third mobile operator in '09

Telecom will compete with Batelco and firm linked with Kuwait's Zain, magazine reports.

Bahrain, the smallest Gulf Arab economy, plans to invite a third mobile phone operator in 2009, Middle East Economic Digest (Meed) reported, without giving a source.

The new operator would compete with Batelco and a firm linked with Kuwait's Zain in the country of of 1.05 million.

The third mobile phone company would likely be a foreign investor, the weekly reported in its latest edition issued on Friday.

States across the world's biggest oil-exporting region are opening up their telecom sectors as economic growth expands.

Qatar plans to sell its second fixed-line licence this year after awarding a group led by Vodafone Grou, its second mobile phone licence in December.

Saudi Arabia sold its third mobile phone licence to a group led by Zain last year for $6.11 billion. (Reuters)

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