Vodafone and Bouygues thrown out of GSM auction

12 Jul 2004

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission has disqualified UK and French cellcos Vodafone and Bouygues Telecom from the bidding process for the country’s second GSM licence. The regulator apparently made the decision after evaluating the bidders technical submissions, which it said failed to meet its ‘minimum score of 85%’. The decision leaves six companies to go through to the second stage of the licence auction, during which the applicants’ financial proposals will be scrutinised, along with their technical and commercial proposals for the introduction of third-generation (3G) services. The remaining bidders are UAE operator Etisalat, Kingdom Telefónica Consortium (in which Spain’s Telefónica is the main overseas partner), MTC and Partners Consortium (MTC), MTN Saudi Arabia Consortium (MTN), Orascom Telecom Saudi Arabia Consortium (Orascom) and Samawat Consortium (Telecom Italia Mobile).