Syria to license 3rd mobile phone operator
The Syrian government has agreed to allow a third operator of mobile phone network, reports said Thursday. In addition it was decided to turn the contracts of the current two operators into licenses, after they will pay their financial obligations to the public treasury. According to Al Hayat newspaper, the Syrian Minister of Communications Imad Sabouni said that "top players in the global telecommunications market are eyeing the third operator contract in Syria."
It is projected that the main competitors on the new license will be Turkey's "Turkcell", Kuwait's "Zain" and "STC" of Saudi Arabia.
Currently, there are two operators - "Syriatel" and "MTV". They are active in Syria since 2001, in partnership with the "General Telecommunications Establishment", after they won a "B.O.T tenders for a 15-year period which can be extended for three years.
Officials figures indicate that the number of mobile subscribers in Syria until the end of November 2009 reached about 9.6 million, with the total revenues amounting to SP35.7 billion (some US$760 million dollars).