Telecom (STC) has submitted an offer for a mobile
licence in Syria, the company said on Saturday, one of the few
countries in the region with low mobile penetration and
promising growth chances.
STC is one of five firms to qualify for the Syria licence
auction, along with Qatar Telecom, Turkcell, France Telecom and the UAE's Etisalat, although the latter two have dropped plans to bid.
"(STC) announces that it submitted on Wednesday, March 30,
its technical and operational offer... The offers that are
qualified by Syria's (telecommunication) ministry will enter the
final (financial) phase of the auction on April 27," the company
said in a statement on the bourse website.
Syria, with a mobile penetration of about 30 percent in
2007, started a tender in September to sell the third mobile
The two current cellphone operators in Syria are South
Africa's MTN and Syriatel, which is mostly owned by
Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf.
STC faces increased competition from Etihad Etisalat
(Mobily) and Zain Saudi in its home market,
the biggest Arab economy.
An industry source told Reuters in October that STC could be
among the strongest contenders, especially after ties between
the Damascus government and Riyadh improved last year.
France Telecom has said it decided not to submit a bid for
Syria's third mobile phone licence given the terms, with the
price the main concern, given that the radio wave frequencies on
offer were of lower quality and would have required a denser,
and therefore more expensive, network build-out.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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