The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) yesterday launched its selection process to license a second mobile network operator to compete with the incumbent Qatar Telecom (Qtel). A pre-qualification phase runs until 27 May, with application requirements available on the regulator’s website. ictQATAR Secretary General Dr Hessa Al-Jaber said: ‘We recently concluded an initial consultation period on the licensing process. We were delighted with the response from companies from around the world – numerous operators expressed interest in business opportunities here.’ Within the next few months ictQATAR plans to launch a separate process to award a licence to own and operate a fixed telecoms network in competition with Qtel. In parallel, Qtel will receive new fixed and mobile concessions. All licences are expected to be awarded by the end of 2007. ‘In every step of the telecom liberalisation process, ictQATAR will be committed to transparency and fairness,’ said Dr Hessa. Also yesterday, the regulator launched a public consultation on the proposed regulations and policies for opening the telecoms sector. Interested parties are invited to express views and comment on the proposed policies by responding to the questions and views in a consultation document available on the website until 27 May.