Specialised local companies with links to international firms have been invited to apply by 11 October to Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) to prequalify for a contract to set up the kingdom’s first very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications system.

STC says the lead bidder should be a local company that has worked in the communications sector for at least five years. Foreign companies will be restricted to a single bid, in association with a local venture.

The contract will entail the design, manufacture and engineering of the VSAT system. The contractor will also be required to operate the system on behalf of STC.

Industry sources say most international companies involved in the local telecoms sector are expected to bid for the project.

Analysts say the VSAT system will be a resource for businesses operating in remote areas in the kingdom.