The Supreme Council of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) yesterday began a public consultation on the proposed new fixed line and mobile networking licences. The period for comments and views on the draft licence documents runs until 1 July, a press release said. The documents published on ictQATAR’s website represent the basis on which the regulator intends to licence incumbent telco Qatar Telecom (Qtel) as well as new competitors. One of the watchdog’s goals is to foster competition through transparent and non-discriminatory licensing. Comments submitted by companies involved in the telecommunications industry and other interested parties will be reviewed and considered before final licence texts are issued. According to Decree Law (34) of 2006 and the promulgated Telecommunications Law, Qtel must be issued with a new set of telecoms licences. Published yesterday were draft fixed and mobile licences for Qtel and new entrants, along with corresponding radio spectrum licences. ictQATAR is currently reviewing applications from prospective mobile licensees submitted during a recent pre-qualification process. A list of qualified candidates is expected to be announced shortly, the release said, and a formal mobile licence application process will be launched in July; it is expected that the process for licensing a new fixed line operator will be launched soon after. The new fixed line licence will mirror the basic terms and conditions of Qtel’s concession. Also available on its website are ictQATAR’s official responses to submissions from its ‘Consultation on Liberalisation of Telecommunications Markets in Qatar’, which was issued on 23 April.