Posts filed under ‘STC’
Saudi Telecom company (STC) has won Bahrain’s third mobile network operating licence with a bid of BHD86.7 million (USD231 million), the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced yesterday, breaking the duopoly of state-run Batelco and Kuwaiti-owned Zain. According to Reuters, STC plans to launch its Bahraini operations in the second half of this year and aims to acquire a 20% market share in ten years. The Saudi telco has also committed itself to establishing a USD300 million venture capital fund in Bahrain that will nurture communications and IT companies in the region. Three other firms had registered interest in the auction, but did not bid. Mohammed al-Amer, chairman of the TRA, confirmed that these were Bahraini operators 2Connect and Mena Telecom alongside a consortium including France Telecom subsidiary Jordan Telecom. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have strong links, as several million people cross a causeway linking the two kingdoms every year.
Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced in a statement yesterday that Saudi Telecom Company (STC) was the only applicant to bid for the country’s third mobile licence by the deadline on Sunday 11 January. The watchdog had previously reported that four international operators had been pre-qualified, before saying closer to the deadline that two hopefuls had confirmed their interest, whilst domestic alternative telco 2Connect announced last week that it was racing to complete a joint application with Saudi Arabian cellco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily). STC confirmed that it had placed a bid in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange. The TRA will evaluate the financial offer on 22 January after verifying STC meets technical requirements. The news scotches rumours that STC would attempt to buy a government-owned stake in Bahrain’s former monopoly fixed line and mobile operator Batelco, as the TRA has indicated it would disallow the third cellular licensee from doing so on anti-competitive grounds.