Oman MVNO set for Q4 launch

Friendi expects to launch in Oman by year end, in talks with seventeen operators in MEA

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By  Roger Field Published  September 4, 2008

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Friendi is on track to launch its network in Oman by the end of the year, with services in other countries anticipated as regulators soften their attitudes towards virtual networks.

Friendi secured the third operator licence in Oman in June, and CEO Mikkel Vinter confirmed to CommsMEA that the service is still on course for a Q4 launch.

Vinter said that the regulatory climate in the Middle East region was becoming more conducive towards MVNO launches.

“A number of regulators are doing public consultations. There does seem to be an increased public awareness that this model can bring greater revenues, and we certainly see more and more operators embracing the model,” Vinter said.

He added that he hoped to launch an MVNO in Jordan “soon”, after securing the operator’s licence earlier this year in March.

“That’s clearly a market we’re keeping a keen eye on. We’re making good progress,” he said.

Friendi is now in talks with seventeen operators in the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions.

“We’re at different stages of progress with each of them, but we’re certainly seeing a lot of interest in the business model,” Vinter said.

“We’re seeing a strong interest from distribution players to do business with us. We feel confident that our strategy of using the independent channel will be the right one.

“We’ve some good partnerships already in place, both local and pan-regional, so we’re very happy with the progress in that area.

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