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Saudi Arabia opens doors to MVNOs

The deal sees LTE roaming between Saudi and Kuwait

Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has confirmed it will invite applications from companies for MVNO licences.

The regulator said that it would allow up to three new MVNOs to enter the market to increase the range and variety of mobile telecommunications services for consumers and encourage fairness and transparency.

The CITC added that it favours opening up the market to MVNOs, rather than new network operators, as it avoids the need for further spectrum or new radio access networks, and promotes improved efficiencies and reduced costs.

The country currently has three mobile network operators operating in the  market: Mobily, STC and Zain. Dubai-based Friendi has already set up its own MVNO in the country.

Last week, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a draft proposal to allow mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to set up in the market, in a bid to encourage direct foreign investment into the country.

The MIIT is currently in consultation with the industry’s stakeholders, including the three mobile network operators – China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom – regarding the move.


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