Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa to launch operations in Kuwait
The company will launch its fully digital app-based proposition in Kuwait under the Virgin Mobile brand
Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, the region mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), has announced its intent to launch in Kuwait.
The announcement follows the successful application for a business licence via a partnership with Kuwait Telecommunications Company (stc) to enable its operations, and secure debt and equity funding for the expansion.
The company will launch its fully digital app-based proposition in the country under the Virgin Mobile brand, becoming the fourth service provider. stc Kuwait will act as a host facilities-based provider with Virgin Mobile Kuwait to provide digital services to customers in the country. All of the new operations’ IT and app technology will be based on Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa’s digital operator platform.
Erik Dudman Nielsen, founder and chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, commented: “Our presence [in Kuwait], following other successful launches in the GCC, is part of our ongoing commitment to always provide more choices for consumers as well as to push the boundaries of traditional telco with our digital propositions.”
Funding for the expansion into Kuwait has been provided by Wafra International Investment Company, Impulse International for Telecommunications and Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa.
“Debt funding of $13m has been provided by Wafra to allow expansion of the Virgin brand into the Kuwait market. This is the first investment of its kind, established to set up a virtual telecommunications network,” said Wafra International Investment Company CEO, Ghazi Al Hajeri.
The investment in Virgin Mobile Kuwait positions Wafra on the company’s board of directors, Al Hajeri explained.
The remainder of the funding is supplied as equity funding, with Impulse International leading the equity transaction.
“Impulse led the equity term sheet of $7m for the Kuwait entity, which is a milestone for the telecom sector in Kuwait, as this is the first MVNO to enter the market. Impulse will be represented on the Board of Directors of the company,” said Izzat Abou-Amarah, CEO at Impulse International for Telecommunications.
“This deal will allow Virgin Mobile Kuwait to provide the best technological services in its field, transferring technology and knowledge in the telecom sector while providing a more digital platform which reflects the global trend of service providers, while also providing new job opportunities.”
Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa is serving 3 million customers across the region, operating across GCC markets such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and providing advisory services to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) in the UAE.