Jordan moves forward on MVNOs

Jordan takes step forward in its plans to introduce Mobile Virtual Network Operators.

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By  Michele Howe Published  September 27, 2007

Jordan has taken a step forward in its plans to introduce Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) in Jordan yesterday issued a framework detailing its plans on the provisioning of MVNO services in the country.

MVNOs are telecom players that use other operators' infrastructure to offer mobile phone services.

Although the MVNO business model is widespread in Europe and parts of the US, it has yet to arrive in the Middle East with Jordan now almost certain to be the first to introduce it.

"This document opens the door to the development of MVNOs in the region," Federico Membrillera, partner at Delta Partners, said to ITP.net.

The opportunity for the MVNO business model in the Middle East is potentially huge, according to the research firm. It estimates that the the value of the opportunity in the region could be as high as $5 billion.

The document stated that an MVNO would be expected to pay 10% of its operating revenues from its services annually to the regulatory authority with payment made in arrears.

MVNO agreements would be subject to approval from the TRC, it said.

Companies interested in the MVNO concept are likely to be those with a strong brand, such as Carphone Warehouse, or those with a large customer base or strong distribution capabilities.

Axiom Telecom is one firm in the region that has expressed interest in the MVNO route, while Dubai-based telecoms company Friendi Mobile is another likely contender, according to Delta Partners.

Other countries in the Middle East said to be considering allowing MVNOs are Bahrain and Oman.

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