Saudi telecom sector opens to local operators
The Saudi government has issued new by-laws to liberalize its domestic telecom sector, which is currently monopolized by the state-owned Saudi Telecom Corp (STC). The by-laws allow for new operators to enter the telecom sector, provided they are public shareholding companies, established through public offerings.
The government has set up regulatory body, Saudi Telecom Authority, to facilitate the process. Nonetheless, international companies are blocked from participating in the domestic telecommunications market, which remains one of the 19 sectors made off-limits by the Foreign Investors Act.
There are 3.3 million fixed lines as well as three million mobile lines in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom commissioned Sweden’s Ericsson and Findland’s Nokia to expand its GSM network last year to 5.5 million lines. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)