20 Feb 2008
Eight international telecoms operators have registered their interest in applying for Qatar’s second fixed line licence, the country’s regulatory authority ictQATAR’s said yesterday. The line-up of Bahrain’s Batelco, Jordan Telecom Group, Verizon Communications (US), Vodafone Group (UK), AT&T (US), a subsidiary of the UK’s BT Group, Italy’s Eutelia and PCCW (Hong Kong) will be judged in a ‘beauty contest’ – a comparative evaluation on network quality, range of proposed services and level of public commitment. The winner will be announced in May. ictQATAR secretary general Hessa Al-Jaber said: ‘We are confident that the award of this licence will further ictQATAR’s vision of state-of-the-art infrastructure with high speed broadband and innovative services for every Qatari citizen and business.’ The concession will cost QAR10 million (USD2.75 million), the regulator said last December.