STC, Qtel last bidders for Syria license

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Qatar Telecom (Qtel) reached the final phase of Syria’s auction for a third mobile license. Deputy Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Al Jalali said UAE-based Etisalat, Turkcell and France Telecom have pulled out of the race. The three companies withdrew because they did not agree with some contractual issues, including the 25 percent share in revenue for the Syrian state and its monopoly over infrastructure for seven years, according to a telecommunications ministry statement. They also objected to requirements for certain frequencies not being available. Bidders will be notified about the evaluation results on 14 April, and the auction will be held on 27 April. The auction will open with a bid of EUR 90 million. Qatar Telecom chairman Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani said that unrest in Syria has not changed the company’s interest in the country’s third mobile license.

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