Five firms qualify for Syria cell phone auction
Damascus: Mon, 29 Nov 2010
Five out of six interested companies have qualified to bid for Syria's third cellphone licence, in a process seen as a test of the country's ability to meet international tendering standards.
Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat), France Telecom, Qatari company Qtel, Turkcell, Saudi Telecom have made the pre-qualification shortlist, with Iranian group Tamco missing out, the telecom ministry said on Monday.
The cell phone sector, one of the government's biggest sources of revenue, has been tinged with political interference since the state awarded operational contacts to two existing cellphone companies, MTN and Syriatel, nine years ago.
The government, which plans to convert the build, operate and transfer contracts with existing two operators into licenses, said transparency will govern the process of choosing a third operator.
An auction for the third license was due to be held on April 12, according to the tender document