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, which has been working closely with the CITC in the licensing process mentioned “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” said Thomas Kuruvilla.
“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 has introduced regulatory frameworks in Oct 2006 to provide 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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