Saudi Arabian telecommunication regulator, the Communications and IT Commission (CITC), has announced the five companies that will be further evaluated for new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences on offer in the Kingdom. Axiom Mobile, Virgin Mobile MEA, Jawraa Group (Lebara), FastNet Group and Safari Group have all submitted their MVNO licence applications prior to the deadline of 11 May 2013. The companies will be assessed according to the guidelines previously provided by the CITC, and shortlisted candidates will be announced once the assessment is complete, although no date has been set by the watchdog for the announcement.
MVNOs utilise other operators’ networks to sell mobile services to subscribers, as they do not have their own telecoms infrastructure. The CITC has already informed existing mobile operators in Saudi Arabia of the requirement to collaborate with one MVNO to provide mobile and data services. The initiative is designed to raise competition between network providers in Saudi Arabia, and to deliver larger variety of packages at reduced prices to end-consumers, the regulator reported on its website.