Saudi Arabia – Schedule for Data Services Licensing Process
In November 2003, the Saudi Arabian telecommunications regulator, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (“CITC”), announced its intention to issue two data telecommunications services licences. In January 2004, the CITC issued a Request for Pre-Qualification (“RFPQ”) for the data telecommunications services licensing process. The RFPQ outlines the procedures that govern the pre-qualification phase of the licensing process, as well as other important information about the application process and the award of licence. A link to the RFPQ is set out below.
Included at page 10 of the RFPQ is a draft schedule for the licensing of the data telecommunications services providers. This schedule lists key events in the pre-qualification and application stages of licensing. The dates provided for events in the pre-qualification stage are specific, while the events in the application stage are not. This is likely due to the fact that the schedule was released at a very early stage in the licensing process when it could not be said with certainty when various events in the licensing process would occur.
The CITC makes clear that the schedule is not finalized and that the schedule is subject to change at the CITC’s sole discretion. Indeed, the schedule for the pre-qualification stage did change, and the CITC posted notice of this change of its website. Nevertheless, the schedule provides a useful overview of the timeline of the licensing process.