Reliance Telecom and Bharti Airtel along with ten other firms, including Egypt''s
Orascom, Britain''s Vodafone, Verizon of the US, MTC of Kuwait and Bahrain Telecom
have entered the second round of qualifying process for a GSM-based mobile licence
in Qatar that the Gulf country plans to award by October this year.
''s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), the
country''s telecom regulator, plans to award the second GSM mobile licence in October.
were delighted by both the number and quality of the applications we received.
The list includes important regional and international operators," ictQATAR''s
secretary general Hessa Al Jaber said in a statement.
a final mobile application process (MAP), all 12 companies will be assessed on
criteria such as depth of expertise, industry knowledge and financial security.
two Indian companies had earlier lost in a bid for a cellular licence in Saudi
Arabia, while Reliance Telecom had also opted out of a bid in Kenya.
Qatar Telecom is the first mobile operator. The company is also set to lose its
fixed line monopoly later this year as the government has invited global bids
for a second fixed line operator.
consultation period for comments and views on the draft licence document had been
until July 1. The licence will end Qatar Telecom''s (Qtel) monopoly in a market
which has mobile penetration in excess of 100 per cent.
No.34 of 2006 ended Qtel''s monopoly and introduced competition in the telecommunications
sector. ictQATAR is the regulatory body of information and communication technology
(ICT) and has been vested with powers to oversee the liberalisation process, granting
competitive licenses for the provision of network and telecom services.
will have exclusive rights on the networks laid by it while the new market entrant
will have to construct its own network to provide the relevant services. Liberalisation
in the sector is taking place in a phased manner and will cover all areas, including
at first thought to be a limited market due to the small population, global players
appear to have discovered that there is indeed, potential. The population is growing
and the many projects underway here have meant an influx of expatriates which
equates to more mobile phone connections.