Kuwait ‘to privatise fixed telecoms network’

23 March 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Kuwait has revived plans to privatise its state-owned fixed telecoms infrastructure, two years after the Gulf state approved a bill to create a telecoms regulator.

The country’s Ministry of Communications has announced plans to privatise fixed lines and long-distance services and infrastructure, according to a statement from Hameed Al-Qattan, undersecretary at the ministry. The MoC is the monopoly operator of fixed telecoms in Kuwait.

The ministry will set up a Telecom and Information Technology Authority, which will be responsible for offering the MoC’s services for privatisation, he told the Kuwait Times.

According to telecoms market analysis company BuddeComm, Kuwait has high mobile penetration, with three operators – Ooredoo, STC’s Viva and Zain – now offering LTE-A, but “fixed broadband penetration is low, blamed on underinvestment in infrastructure and the lack of a national broadband policy”, said Budde.

Two years ago Kuwait announced plans to create a regulator and to revive a 20-year-old project to privatise the fixed network, four years after the first reports that the country planned to sell off the infrastructure.