Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has released a Request for Application (RFA) to issue licenses for foreign mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).
The RFP document indicated that companies awarded with a MVNO license will gain access to a market of more than 43.8 million mobile subscribers, with a mobile penetration rate of 129 percent of the total population.
Licensing of MVNOs is a key pillar in the five-year strategy established by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to accelerate the ICT sector’s growth by 50 percent and elevate its contribution to GDP by $13.3 billion.
Saudi Telecommunications (STC), Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (Zain) are the mobile operators in Saudi Arabia. The government has offered MVNOs licenses to Virgin, Etihad Jawraa and Lebara.
“While new licenses will enhance prospects for investment in the sector, it is also a concrete demonstration of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to welcoming innovative companies to realize the Kingdom’s commercial opportunities,” Mohammed Al-Tamimi, Governor of the CITC, said.
Saudi Arabia’s ICT sector, valued at $28.7 billion in 2019, is forecast to achieve exponential growth in coming years.