The latest PN calls on interested parties to submit comments by 31 December on the procedures and conditions to be applied in the GSM licensing round. The release of the PN was accompanied by the publication of a public consultation document providing a detailed timetable and further details of the two-stage – prequalification and application with selection – tender process. The licence is due to be awarded in the fourth quarter of 2004, with operations scheduled for early 2005. ‘There is a lot of life and activity in the region and people will take this GSM licence very seriously,’ says a senior telecommunications executive.

The CITC has appointed companies to advise on the award of the mobile phone and data telecommunication licences. EFG-Hermes, Goldman Sachsand Riyad Bankare the financial advisers; Allen & Overy and The Alliance, the legal advisers; and UK-based Intercai Mondiale,the technical adviser.