The Saudi Communications Commission (SCC), the independent regulatory body established to oversee the restructuring of the telecommunications sector, will become operational on 29 December, Karim Sabbagh of the consultants Booz-Allen & Hamiltontold delegates at MEED's Investing in Saudi Arabia Conference in London on 7 November.
SCC, which was set up by royal decree at the end of June, will be responsible for issuing licences to private investors as part of the privatisation of Saudi Telecommunications Company. Between 2002 and 2005 , SCC will oversee the partial liberalisation of the data, mobile and fixed voice sectors. The order in which the licences will be awarded has not yet been articulated, but Sabbagh said the schedule is nevertheless the most explicit in the GCC.
Upon its start-up, the priority for SCC, according to Sabbagh, will be to confirm the timing of the liberalisation schedule, define the key functional responsibilities, and identify the main statutory regulations and procedures. SCC will also advise on sector policy and monitor the market and investors' compliance with licence procedures.
SCC will be headed by Mohammed Jameel Ahmed Mulla (MEED 12:10:01).