Saudi regulator expects more than one fixed line winner

20 Apr 2007

Sultan al-Malik, spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, has announced that there is likely to be more than one successful applicant when financial bidding for new fixed line operating licences opens on Saturday. ‘There may very well be more than one winner… All three pre-qualified bidders might win depending on the frequencies for which they bid,’ Malik said, indicating the regulator may grant licences for different geographical areas of the country. Consortiums led by Bahrain’s Batelco, US-based Verizon Communications and Hong Kong’s PCCW were shortlisted last Sunday for a fixed line licence. Batelco has confirmed that it is also bidding for a wireless internet licence, and its CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos told Reuters on Wednesday that he thought it a foregone conclusion that his company had won a concession, although he declined to outline the value of the bid.