VIRGIN MOBILE IS SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT FOR SAUDI ARABIAN LICENSE

VIRGIN MOBILE CONSOLIDATES REGIONAL LEADERSHIP POSITION WITH SUCCESFUL APPLICATION FOR MVNO LICENSE IN SAUDI ARABIA.

Information has been released from the Saudi Arabian telecom regulator CITC that the consortium led by Virgin Mobile has been selected as successful applicant for the MVNO license in Saudi Arabia. As will be clear to everyone following the regional telecommunications industry, being selected for a MVNO license in Saudi Arabia is a big thing for any telecommunications company, and this is not different for a global heavyweight like Virgin Mobile – The telecom market in Saudi Arabia is the most valuable in the ME region, and being selected for a license here is an important step for a company like Virgin Mobile that has a vision of becoming the leading service based mobile provider in the ME region.

”Today Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa is serving more than a million customers across the MEA region, so we have already established ourselves as a sizeable pan-regional mobile group, but with our selection as successful applicant for the MVNO license in Saudi Arabia, Virgin Mobile will be able to add customers with our own licensed service in the most important regional telecom market”, Mikkel Vinter, CEO of Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa explained.

With operations across Europe, Asia, South America and North America, Virgin Mobile is the biggest MVNO group globally serving close to 20 million customers, and Virgin was a pioneer in introducing the MVNO model originally back in the late 1990’ies in the UK.

The Middle East and Africa region initially lagged behind the rest of the world in introducing the MVNO model, but since the launch by Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa of the first regional MVNO in Oman in 2009 under the “FRiENDi mobile” brand, the tide has begun to shift, and the MVNO business model is now being rolled out in various forms across regional markets including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia. “Our company in Oman today has approx. 9% market share of the mobile market, which places it among the top-five most successful MVNOs globally by market share, and that is important proof that the MVNO model is not only a concept that works well in Europe or North America, but is also extremely relevant for Middle East, Africa and SE Asia. On this background, it is very encouraging that the Saudi Arabian Telecom regulator has had the foresight to introduce the MVNO model to their market, and we thank the CITC for their professional management of the entire MVNO consultation and license process”, said Mikkel Vinter.