Saudi approves new MVNOs doubling total count

15 July 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Saudi Arabia now has four MVNOs after the national regulator awarded new licenses to Integrated Telecom Mobile Company Limited and Future Networks for Communications Company.

They are the first MVNO licenses to be granted by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) since 2014 when Virgin Mobile KSA and Etihad Jawraa launched services.

In total, the country now has seven licensed domestic mobile telecom companies in operation.

H.E. Mohammed Al Tamimi, Governor of CITC, Saudi during the licensing ceremony that the developments are in line with the country's ambition to increase investment and competition in the telecoms sector.

"At CITC, we aim to enhance the level of competitiveness in the sector, and improve user experience, by facilitating additional service providers,” he said. Al Tamimi also highlighted telecom service providers as important partners in transforming the Kingdom into a digital society, a key component of Vision 2030, who can contribute to innovation in telecom, mobile data and internet services," he said.

CITC figures state the Saudi telecommunications sector is estimated to contribute 5.3% to the national GDP, with a market size that reached SAR 69 billion in 2020, growing by 4% from the previous year. Capital investments of telecom service providers amounted to SAR 17.6 billion in 2020, and the mobile telecom services penetration reached 135.5%.