10 Aug 2007
UAE-based fixed line and wireless operator Etisalat will bid for Qatar’s upcoming fixed line licence in addition to its new mobile licence, according to Jamal Al Jarwan, the firm’s general manager of international investments. Winning the mobile auction first would make the fixed licence more attractive, he said yesterday, adding that ‘They will be running two rounds, one for GSM and one for fixed…We will participate in both.’ According to Qatar’s telecoms regulator, ictQATAR, parties have until 9 September to register for the country’s second fixed line licence, which will end the monopoly of incumbent Qatar Telecom (Qtel). The winner will be announced at the end of the year. Bidding for the mobile licence begins in September, with a winner to be announced in October. Etisalat is one of twelve firms shortlisted as eligible for the wireless concession, competing against Batelco, Jordan Telecom, MTC, Orascom Telecom, Quic Consortium (led by Omantel and Belgacom), Reliance Telecom, Ace Consortium (led by Bharti Airtel), Vodafone, AT&T, the Argos Consortium (led by Verizon) and Digicel.