Virgin to launch MVNO services in Saudi Arabia

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa has been awarded a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence by Saudi Arabian regulators and plans on launching services in the country in the first half of 2014.

The company – which is partly owned by UK-based Virgin Group – was one of the winning bidders for three MVNO licences in June last year.

“I am delighted that we are able to bring the Virgin Mobile experience to our Saudi Arabian customers,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

“The award of this licence further consolidates our position as the market-leading MVNO in the region, positioning Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa perfectly for future growth,” he added.

In an effort to increase competition in the country, the regulator has demanded that the country’s three mobile operators – Saudi Telecom (STC), Mobily and Zain Saudi – must each host an MVNO.

STC has teamed up with VMMEA, Mobily with the UK’s Lebara Group and Zain Saudi with Axiom.

Last week, UK-based cable operator Liberty Global announced plans to create an MVNO to offer mobile services to customers in Europe.

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