Saudi telecom Mobily in mobile virtual network operator talks

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A Mobily customer service centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo -

Saudi Arabia telecom company Mobily’s chief executive announced on Tuesday the company is in talks with a number of foreign operators to sell its surplus network capacity.

The news came amid reports the kingdom’s telecoms regulator would issue three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences in 2012.

“We are talking to a number of MVNO operators worldwide,” Mobily CEO Khalid al-Kaf told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

“If it will add value because it can address a segment much better than us, we will be glad to host an MVNO.”

Mobily, an affiliate of United Arab Emirates telecom giant Etisalat, is likely to decide on whether to host an MVNO by the end of the third quarter, Al-Kaf told reporters.

Only Oman has issued MVNO licences in the Gulf. Former monopoly Omantel hosted MVNO in order to target low income expat groups and win back market share from Qatari rival Nawras.

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