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Vodafone, Verizon Join Interest in Qatar Licence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Qatar said on Tuesday eight companies, including Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc and U.S. firm Verizon Communications Inc, expressed an interest in the country’s second fixed-line telephone licence.

AT&T Inc ATT.N, a unit of BT Group’s British Telecom; Italy’s Eutelia SPA and Hong Kong’s PCCW Ltd also expressed an interest, Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology said in a statement.

In the Gulf, Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Jordan Telecom Group may bid for the licence, which should be awarded in May, the regulator said.

Qatar will sell the licence for 10 million riyals ($2.75 million), the authority said in December.

Qatar in December sold its second mobile phone licence to a group including Vodafone, ending the last mobile phone monopoly in the Arab world. It would not say how much the winner paid.

Qatar holds the world’s third-largest reserves of natural gas. Its population is expected to rise to 1.34 million by 2015 from 840,000 now, according to the telecom regulator.