2004 News Story

Minister comments on new mobile phone company

Minister of Agriculture and Acting Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Dr Fahd Balghunaim has commented on the Cabinet’s authorization for a consortium led by the Etisalat mobile phone company to obtain a license for cell phone service, saying this decision is in line with the Kingdom’s policy of privatization of the telecommunications sector, would provide at reasonable prices advanced services with second and third generation technology, and open up job opportunities for thousands of Saudis.

The Etisalat Consortium Company is being set up with 65 percent of the shares owned by Saudis, including fully 20 percent to be floated for subscription by Saudi citizens. The establishments involved are the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), with 15 percent; and holding 6 percent each are the Al-Jumeih Holding Company, the Abdulaziz Al-Sugheir Company for Commercial Investment, Rana Investment Company, the Abdullah bin Saeed bin Zakar Company, and Riyadh Cables Group. The remaining 35 percent is held by the United Arab Emirates' Telecommunications Corporation.