Syria delays bids for mobile license, Saudi Telecom says

Syria's telecommunication ministry has not set a new date for the financial proposal, Saudi-owned STC says
Syria delays bids for mobile license, Saudi Telecom says
SAUDI TELECOM: STC faces increased competition from Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi in its home market, the biggest Arab economy
By Reuters
Wed 27 Apr 2011 12:00 PM

Syria, grappling with political

unrest, has delayed

bidding for the country's third mobile operator licence, bid

hopeful Saudi Telecom said on Wednesday.

Syria's telecommunication ministry has not set a new date

for the financial proposal, state-owned STC said.

STC submitted its technical proposal on March 30 and

financial bidding was due to close on April 27.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's troops are crushing

resistance in the southern city of Deraa where the revolt

against his autocratic rule began on March 18.

STC was one of five firms to qualify for the Syria licence

auction, along with Qatar Telecom, Turkcell, France Telecom and UAE group Etisalat. The latter two have dropped plans to bid.

Syria, with a mobile penetration of about 30 percent in

2007, launched a tender to sell the third mobile operator

licence last September. The two current cellphone operators in

Syria are South African company MTN and Syriatel,

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.

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