A company identified as Space Telecom Company has submitted the highest bid for the state's second fixed-line licence, with its Eur 100 million ($121 million) offer exceeding that of its nearest competitor, India's Al-Ashraf Company, by Eur 45 million ($54 million). Telecoms regulator National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) is overseeing the process.
The other bidders for the licence are Sudanese Egyptian Telecom Company, and two companies identified as Toma Engineering Company and Al-Batreeq. The evaluation of the proposals, both technical and financial, is ongoing,. The licence is to be awarded by mid-2005, when the exclusivity arrangement for the state-owned fixed-line operator Sudan Telecommunications Company (Sudatel) is due to expire. Considerable potential is offered by the local Sudan's fixed-line market which, according to an August report by Amman-based Arab Advisers Group, has only 2.8 per cent penetration (MEED 27:8:04).