Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) announced it had scrapped plans to compete on the third license to operate a mobile network in Syria. This is the latest setback to the efforts by the UAE company's expansion plans in the Middle East. Etisalat – the largest mobile phone service operator in the Middle East in terms of market value – was one of five groups qualified to enter the bidding stage for the license, but said it was disappointed with the terms of the deal, without giving details.
The firm said in a statement that it considered that the conditions of the tender will not able to achieve its objectives with regard to technology and the added value that it hoped to bring to market. The other companies that have qualified to the tender are headed by France Telecom, Qatar Telecom (Qtel), Turkcell and Saudi Telecom Company. Presentations are scheduled for April 12.
Earlier this month, Etisalat dropped plans for a deal worth $12 billion to acquire rival Kuwait's Zain operator and attributed this to the division in the board of directors of Zain.