DUBAI (Reuters) – Qatar received bids from seven of 12 qualified companies and groups for the Gulf Arab state’s second mobile phone license, the telecom regulator said on Tuesday.
AT&T, Vodafone and a group including Verizon Communications Inc were among those that bid, Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology said in a statement.
Emirates Telecommunications Corp, Bahrain Telecommunications Co, Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co and a group including India’s Airtel also submitted bids.
The regulator said in July it had short-listed 12 companies and groups to bid for the license that will end the monopoly of Qatar Telecommunications Co (Qtel) in the country of 840,000 people.
Oman Telecommunications Co was among five companies that pulled out of the race. Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, Jordan Telecom Group and a group led by Belgacom were also on the shortlist.
The regulator said it would review technical bids before inviting companies to submit financial bids in an auction that is likely to happen in early November.
Mobile penetration in Qatar, holder of the world’s third-biggest reserves of natural gas, exceeds 100 percent.
Its population should grow to 1.3 million by 2015, driving mobile phone use, the regulator said in April.