Saudi Telecom Regulator to Grant New MVNO Licenses In 2020

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The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) released yesterday a Request for Application (RFA) to issue foreign mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) with licenses, enabling them to invest in Saudi Arabia.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: LINK 

Dr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi, Governor of the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) (Photo - AETOSWire)

Dr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi, Governor of the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) (Photo - AETOSWire)

This decision will play a role in achieving Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030’s objective to increase the dynamism of the information technology and communication sector (ICT) through the use of digital technologies, while further developing the Kingdom’s knowledge-based economy. Licensing of MVNOs is also 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% and elevate its contribution to GDP by $13.3 billion.

Until recently, Saudi Telecommunications Company, Etihad Etisalat Company (“Mobily”) and Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (“Zain”) were the only mobile telecommunications operators in Saudi Arabia. The government has since offered MVNOs licenses to Virgin, Etihad Jawraa and Lebara.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi, Governor of the CITC, noted: “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. What distinguishes the ICT sector in the Kingdom is the breadth of new opportunities we offer where cutting-edge companies can allow their creativity to flourish in a rapidly expanding market.”

Currently valued at $28.7 billion in 2019, the ICT sector in Saudi Arabia is forecasted to enjoy exponential growth in the years to come thanks to a young and tech-savvy population, 58% of whom are under the age of 30. Companies awarded with a license will gain access to a market of more than 43.8 million mobile subscribers, with a mobile penetration rate of 129% of the total population. Saudi Arabia also has one of the highest social media penetration rate worldwide.

To review the competition document and apply, please visit CITC’s website: https://www.citc.gov.sa/en/RulesandSystems/RegulatoryDocuments/Licenses/LicensingRegulatoryFrameworks/Documents/MVNO-RFA-EN.pdf

Applications should be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. (Riyadh time) on Monday corresponding to 10/5/2020 AD.

*Source: LINK 

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Business Wire: 11:58 GMT Tuesday 14th January 2020

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