A consortium led by the UAE telecom giant Etisalat has won Saudi Arabia’s second mobile phone license. The weekly Cabinet meeting, chaired by Crown Prince Abdullah Monday, declared the winner for the deal, which brings SR12.21 billion to the public coffers.
The Council of Ministers “licensed Etisalat consortium to establish and operate the second generation mobile phone network using GSM technology...and provide its services at local, national and international levels through its network,” the Saudi Press Agency said.
The Etisalat consortium offered the highest bid of SR12.21 billion to win the highly prized license beating major international contenders including Vodafone of Britain, Bouygues of France, Telefonica Moviles of Spain and MTN of South Africa. MTN offered the second highest bid of SR11.05 billion, followed by SR9.8 billion from Orascom of Egypt.
“The amount shall be paid in advance to the public coffers for the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) to complete licensing procedures,” the agency said quoting a Cabinet statement.
The Cabinet also licensed Etisalat consortium for SR753.75 million to establish and operate the third generation mobile phone network with 3G technology and provide its services at national and international levels.
The meeting also agreed to grant the third generation mobile license to Saudi Telecom if it applies for the license within a year offering the same technical specifications mentioned by Etisalat and paying the required sum as per the Etisalat offer.(menareport.com)
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