The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) opened the bids for the third operator on 27 October.

The regulator was unavailable to say how many companies had submitted bids for the licence.

Qatar’s Qtel and Kuwait’s Zain told MEED in August that the Iranian licence would fit with their plans to expand throughout the region (MEED 29:8:08).

The authority will announce the results of the technical round of bidding on 30 November. The successful companies will have until 11 January 2009 to submit their financial bids, with a winner announced on 12 January.

The successful bidder will compete with incumbent operators Telecommunications Company of Iran and MTN Irancell, which is part-owned by MTN, a South African operator.