Reliance, MTNL and Bharti looking at Qatar

25 Apr 2007

Indian telcos Reliance Communications, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharti Airtel are likely to bid for the second mobile network operating licence in Qatar, reports Indian daily the Economic Times. MTNL told the paper: ‘We are definitely looking at Qatar. As we cannot expand in India, we have to look for opportunities abroad,’ whilst Reliance sources said that the company was examining the issue and may participate in the tender, the preliminary stage of which was launched on Monday; Bharti has not officially commented on the licence. All three companies recently lost the race for a new operating permit in Saudi Arabia. MTNL, which recently lost a bid for Kenya’s second national licence, also offers services in Nepal and Mauritius. Bharti has recently bagged the concession to become Sri Lanka’s fifth GSM operator, whilst also operating in the Seychelles and the UK Channel Islands, but has lost out in bids in Kenya and Bhutan. Reliance has lost bids in Kenya, Egypt, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bahrain.