By Mark Sutton
Eight international operators register interest in competing for Qatar's second fixed line licence, deadline extended for more bids
ictQATAR, the telecommunications regulator for Qatar, has announced that eight companies or consortia have registered their interest in Qatar's second fixed line licence.
The companies that have registered so far are AT&T and Verizon of the US, Bahrain's Batelco, British Telecom (through a regional subsidiary) and Vodafone from the UK, Eutelia of Italy, PCCW of Hong Kong and Jordan Telecom, a consortium of Orange and France Telecom.
ictQATAR also announced that due to the high level of interest, registration would be extended until 3rd April 2008.
The winning applicant will be chosen by a ‘beauty contest' that will evaluate the bidder that is most suitable for Qatar, based on factor like range of services, commitment to the public and service quality.
The new license should be awarded by May 2008.
Dr. Hessa Al -Jaber, secretary general of ictQATAR commented: "We are delighted that so many renowned international operators are interested in competing here for fixed line home and business customers. Just like in the mobile market, choice in fixed line service providers will bring consumers excellent service and value."
"We are confident that the award of this license will further ictQATAR's vision of state-of-the-art infrastructure with high-speed broadband and innovative services for every Qatari citizen and business," he added.