Virgin wins Saudi MVNO bid

Branson-backed firm to team up with STC

Tags: Axiom TelecomSaudi ArabiaSaudi Telecom CompanyVirgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) (www.virginmobilemea.com)Zain - Saudi Arabia
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Virgin wins Saudi MVNO bid Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.
By  Stephen McBride Published  June 24, 2013

Virgin Mobile has been successful in its bid for one of three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences in Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom prepares to become the second GCC nation after Oman to license MVNOs, Reuters reported.

The kingdom's telecom regulator the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced on its website that Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA), part-owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, will launch the network on Saudi Telecom's network.

Other successful bidders were London-based Jawraa Lebara, which will partner with Mobily, and Dubai-based Axiom Telecom, which will team up with Zain Saudi. KSA bidders FastNet and Safari were unsuccessful.

"The aim of these licences is to improve the level of telecommunications services and information technology ... and to contribute to lower their prices, improve customer care, increase job opportunities for citizens and to stimulate competition," CITC said in the statement.

The successful bidders are not yet licensed, but now have 90 days to submit the appropriate documents to carry their applications forward. Because of this, CITC did not say when the MVNO services might launch.

1881 days ago
AndyBL

Good news. Virgin will be looking to shake up the market, and the best partner to go with was STC. Overall this should mean that competition will increase, which will positively improve both the prices and services available to Saudi residents.

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