Here are some highlights from the past week.
Previous license auctions in the region have run into the billions of dollars -- MTC bid $6.1 billion in March for Saudi Arabia's third mobile license, and Etisalat paid $2.9 billion in July 2006 for an Egyptian license. Etisalat also shelled out $3.25 billion in 2004 to create Saudi Arabia's second mobile operator. (See MTC Bids $6.1B for Saudi Mobile License .)
Operators have been prepared to overpay to break into those countries because, according to market research firm Analysys , the Middle Eastern mobile market presents greater potential for revenue growth than markets in Europe with similar levels of average disposable income. (See Analysys Reports on Middle East.)
— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading