The prospective bidders include Alcatel of France, Ericsson of Sweden, Germany’s Siemens, AT&T subsidiary Lucent Technologiesand Motorola, both of the US, Finland’s Nokia and Huawei Technologies of China.

The estimated KD 46 million ($148 million) contract will cover the supply and installation of a fibre optic based telecoms system. ‘The project will cover 34 different areas in the country including the whole of Kuwait City,’ under-secretary at the Communications Ministry, Hamed Khawaj, said on 15 May. ‘The new system will be designed to carry voice and data at high speed.’

Tender documents for the project were released in February. The contract is expected to be carried out in 12-15 months.