Saudi Arabian telecoms regulator the Communications and Information Technology Commission of Saudi Arabia (CITC) had approved the issuance of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence to Virgin Mobile MEA (VMMEA), the Arabian Gazette reports. According to the article, the Saudi operation is scheduled to be launched in 1H14. Mikkel Vinter, CEO and founder of VMMEA, said: ‘We have already progressed very far with our preparations for the launch in Saudi Arabia. We have received an enthusiastic welcome, with more than 35,000 people providing us with their CV over the past six months to be considered for jobs [with] Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2013 the CITC shortlisted three companies to be awarded MVNO licences – Dubai-based Axiom Union Mobile, in collaboration with Zain Saudi Arabia (formerly Saudi MTC); VMMEA, with host provider Saudi Telecoms Company (STC); and Jawraa Group (Lebara), in partnership with Mobily (Etihad Etisalat). In order to qualify for an MVNO licence in Saudi Arabia, companies need to sign an agreement for network alliance with one of the three incumbents in the Kingdom.