Friendi eyes Malaysia MVNO launch later this year

Dubai-based Friendi Group inks deal with local Malaysian partner to form new venture

Tags: Friendi GroupMalaysiaUnited Arab Emirates
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Friendi eyes Malaysia MVNO launch later this year Mikkel Vinter said that the Malaysian operation could launch by the end of the year. (Francisco Fernandez/ITP Images)
By  Roger Field Published  June 28, 2012

Dubai-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Friendi Group, aims to launch an operation in Malaysia by the end of the year after signing an agreement to form a joint venture with a local partner in the country.

Friendi Group signed an agreement with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Berhad, as its local MVNO partner in the country.

Friendi, which already runs MVNOs and brand licencing agreements in Oman, Jordan and KSA, will have a majority stake in the Malaysian venture, according to Mikkel Vinter, CEO, Friendi Group.

"The company has been formed, we have secured a licence and we are moving forward. We have a majority stake. With a little bit of luck we will launch later this year," Vinter told CommsMEA.

The new venture will be run from a new Friendi Group office in Kuala Lumpar. The operation will be headed by Jonathan Marchbank, a former COO of Virgin Mobile in the USA, an MVNO with more than 5 million customers, according to a statement from Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Berhad.

The news follows closely from a deal between Friendi Group and Virgin Mobile South Africa that will see the two companies merge their regional telecom operations to create a combined entity called Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), which will develop and operate mobile telecommunications businesses across the region.

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