RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s telecoms agency announced on Saturday that it had selected 10 companies as candidates to compete with existing state monopoly Saudi Telecom Co (STC) in offering landline services.
Among those selected were Verizon of the United States, Pakistan’s Worldcall, India’s MTNL, PCCW of Hong Kong, Korea Telecom and China Telecom, the agency said.
A review of the tenders will be made in the coming weeks before selection of an unspecified number of licencees, agency spokesman Sultan bin Mohammed al-Malak was quoted by the official SPA news agency as saying.
No further details were given, although it was expected that STC would retain its monopoly until 2008.
STC, which was partially privatized in 2002. It has been competing since that same year in the mobile telephony market with Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates.