The next step towards the licensing round will be the release of request for qualification (RFQ) documents followed by the announcement of a shortlist and an application phase.

Data telecommunications will be the third area of the communications sector to be opened to competition. Internet services and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) service providers have already been licensed.

The CITC has appointed a consortium of advisers – comprising EFG-Hermes, Goldman Sachsand Riyad Bank (financial); Allen & Overyand The Alliance (legal); and the UK’s Intercai Mondiale(technical) – to advise on the award of data telecommunications and cellular services licences (MEED 10:10:03).