Saudi concession attracts nine bids

26 Feb 2007

The Saudi Telecoms regulator CITC has said nine firms have entered bids to run the country’s third national mobile network. Bidders include Orascom Telecom (Egypt), MTN (South Africa), MTC (Kuwait), Turkcell (Turkey), Oger Telecom (Dubai), Reliance Telecom (India), Bharti (India), MTNL (India) and Digicel (Jamaica). The firms are all bidding as part of a consortium with local partners. The CITC says it will evaluate the offers over the next few weeks and has not specified a date when the winner will be unveiled. The market is currently home to just two operators, state-backed STC and Mobily, which has Etisalat of the UAE as its largest shareholder. The Saudi government is also planning to offload the country’s first alternative fixed line licence later this year.

Saudi Arabia