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Mon 12 May 2008 01:00 AM

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Six firm eye Bahrain mobile licence

Local and international firms express interest in becoming kingdom's third mobile network operator.

Bahrain’s telecoms regulator said on Sunday that six companies had expressed their interest to compete for the right to become the country’s third mobile network operator (MNO).

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said it had received a total of seven responses to its request for expressions of interest in the award process, adding that some companies could yet submit bids without expressing any interest at this time.

The responses cover different aspects of the process, including preferred spectrum bands, amount of spectrum required, and any additional measures such as infrastructure sharing, national roaming, any exclusivity period required and the preferred license award mechanism.

Information gained from the responses would aid the TRA in developing tender documents, it said, adding it would appoint a consultancy company to assist in the design of the award process.

General director Alan Horne said the body was ‘greatly encouraged’, by the level of international interest shown in the market.

“The responses are from a mixture of companies interested in investing in the future of Bahrain including both local companies with international partners, and international companies new ot the telecoms sector of Bahrain,” he said in a statement.

The regulator hopes to auction off the licence by the end of this year, with a target date set for December 4. RELATED: Bahrain to issue third mobile licence

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