UK’s Lebara eyes Q2 Saudi MVNO launch
Company to partner with Mobily; lauds growing ARPU in kingdom
London-based telecoms company Lebara has said it expects to launch its services in Saudi Arabia in the second quarter of 2014.
The company was among those awarded a licence by the Saudi Arabia's industry regulator, which is set to change the country's telecommunications market for the first time in six years.
Lebara said the average revenue per user (ARPU) in the Gulf kingdom is expected to increase in the long term from its current mark of $23.3, representing a "strong opportunity".
Lebara added that it is continuing to explore additional growth opportunities within other Gulf markets with prospective partners.
To launch its brand in the country, Lebara will partner with Mobily (Etihad Etisalat). The change came about after the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced its plans to revolutionise the kingdom's static telecommunications industry.
Following a successful bid in June 2013, the CITC gave Lebara and Mobily the green light to begin work to launch as one of its first Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).
Yoganathan Ratheesan, CEO of Lebara Group, said: "We are excited about Lebara's next stage of growth into the Gulf market. Lebara will initially... provide low-cost and high-quality mobile communication services to the migrant community and those with loved ones abroad, under its existing trusted brand, a market-leader in key countries across Europe and in Australia.
"Lebara aims to prosper within and beyond the region to provide more products and services that help customers stay connected to their loved ones all over the globe."
London-based Lebara Group has operations in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Australia. Its vision is to become the brand of choice for 1bn people around the world by 2020.
Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) said earlier this month that it expected to launch telecommunications services in Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2014 after the industry regulator gave it a licence.