Rising demand could see Saudi Arabia licensing its second fixed line operator and third cellco by the end of 2006, two years ahead of schedule, according to Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC). Al-Suwaiyel made the announcement during the official presentation of the Kingdom’s second new data transfer licence to Integrated Telecommunication Company (ITC). ITC paid SAR300 million for its 25 year concession and is the latest player to join the Gulf’s largest telecoms market, which is currently expanding by 30% annually.
Ettihad Etisalat is set to become the next operator to launch telecom services in Saudi Arabia, with its ‘Mobily’ GSM network due to be rolled out by June. The company today announced that it had contracted Motorola to supply a GSM infrastructure that will include EDGE and push-to-talk-over-cellular (PoC) technology. Under the contract Motorola will supply Ettihad Etisalat with a turnkey radio access network for GSM and EDGE, including its Horizon II base stations. The value of the deal was not disclosed.