Lebara, a multi-national mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) based in the UK, will launch its services in Saudi Arabia in Q2 2014 having been officially awarded its MVNO licence by the regulator, the Communications and Information Technology Commission of Saudi Arabia (CITC), a press release announced. Lebara is using the network of Mobily (Etihad Etisalat) to host its MVNO service in Saudi Arabia, following a successful bid by the partnership in June 2013 and the subsequent green light from the CITC to launch. Yoganathan Ratheesan, CEO of Lebara Group, added: ‘We are excited about Lebara’s next stage of growth into the Gulf market. Lebara will initially and primarily provide low-cost and high quality mobile communication services to the migrant community and those with loved ones abroad.’ London-based Lebara has MVNO operations in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Australia.
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 network operator Zain Saudi Arabia; Virgin Mobile MEA, with host provider Saudi Telecoms Company (STC); and Jawraa Group (Lebara), in partnership with Mobily. Earlier this month, CommsUpdate reported that the CITC approved the issuance of an MVNO licence to Virgin Mobile MEA, which is also scheduled to launch by mid-2014.