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Mobile licence
Mobile licence

Syria Postpones 3rd Mobile License Auction

(Shereen El Gazzar | DP-News Zawya Dow Jones)

Dubai- Syria has postponed next week's auction of a third mobile license due to political ructions in the Arab country, a person familiar with matter said on Thursday.
"The license has been postponed because some elements on the supervisory committee were from the old government," the person told Zawya Dow Jones by telephone. "Some people are no longer on the committee." No new date for the auction, that was slated for April 27, has been set, the person added.

The postponement comes after Syria's President Bashar Assad, in moves aimed at containing popular anti-government sentiment, replaced his prime minister and cabinet, and promised to introduce new electoral and media laws.



Qatar Telecom (QTEL.DO), or Qtel, the Arab Gulf state's largest mobile operator, and Saudi Telecom Co. (7010.SA), or STC, were the only telecommunication companies in the running for the mobile license, after a number of competing telecom firms abandoned their bids amid concerns over the Syrian government's revenue sharing plan.

A dearth of big ticket acquisition targets has left many telecom operators in the region, and outside, to pursue smaller opportunities in the Middle East such as the Syria license as well as Iraq's fourth mobile license

"Whilst we understand that there has been a delay to the bidding process, Qtel remains firmly interested in pursuing the third licence in Syria," a Qtel spokesman said in response to Dow Jones questions.

"This is in line with Qtel's stated strategy of looking at opportunities in three strategic regions that fall within its core lines of business and we look forward to an update on the revised timetable for the process in due course," he added.

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