Kuwait’s third mobile network operator Kuwait Telecom Company (operating under the brand Viva) has announced it will commence commercial operations over its GSM network on Wednesday. The new cellco, which is 26% owned by Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) will compete with Zain and Wataniya. Viva CEO Najeeb Alawadhi told Reuters in September that it aims to attract 300,000 subscribers in its first year of operation.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, STC won the auction for a 26% stake in Viva in November 2007 with a bid of KWD248.7 million (USD908 million). An IPO to sell off 50% of the new operator was originally scheduled for February 2008 but was delayed until July, when KWD25 million (USD94 million) was raised in a sale open to Kuwaiti nationals only.