Verizon among the three qualified consortiums to provide fixed services in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has announced that three consortiums have been considered as qualified applicants for the Fixed License. The qualified applicants are now expected to bid for the spectrum to offer fixed services. As optical communications company (Verizon) is not applying for the spectrum, its license award will be only subject to the council of ministers approval. Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Director for Arthur D. Little in the Middle East, who has been working closely with the CITC in the licensing process commented: "Technically qualified applicants (like Verizon) not requesting for spectrum are eligible for the Fixed Services License subject to the approval from the Council of Ministers. Qualified Applicants who have bid for the spectrum will now attend the Spectrum Assignment Process. In summary, we can have many Fixed Service Providers, providing both wire-line and wire-less last mile connectivity to consumers." "CITC has been very successful in updating the regulatory framework to allow the best, latest and cost effective technologies to be used to provide Fixed Services. Multiple fixed service providers are necessary in the country at this stage to ensure rapid investments in the fixed local access infrastructure and provide consumer choices. This will also facilitate the move towards convergence in the near future. We have now successfully avoided situations faced recently in other countries with unsuccessful or delayed second national fixed license award processes," Mr. Kuruvilla added. The CITC introduced regulatory frameworks in Oct 2006 to provide a level playing field for the new fixed line licensees. This transparent regulatory regime has encouraged interested operators to participate in the fixed licensing process. The Qualified Applicants include Optical Communication Company Consortium (MCI International / Verizon- USA), Al-Mutakamilah Consortioum (PCCW - Hong Kong) and Atheeb Consortioum (Batelco - Bahrain)

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Further Information

Thomas Kuruvilla
Managing Director,
Arthur D. Little Middle East FZ LLC
Tel: +65 (0) 98461468
Sue Glanville
EuroPR Group
Tel: +44 (0)20 8971 6423