Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced that it has awarded licences to two new mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), bringing the total number of mobile telecom companies in the country to seven.
CITC said the new companies are Integrated Telecom Mobile Company (ITC Mobile) and Future Networks Communications after they won a competition announced by the CITC in February 2021.
In 2014, CITC awarded the MVNO licenses to Virgin Mobile KSA and Etihad Jawraa, said a report in Arab News.
Companies with MVNO licenses can provide users with services, including voice calls, internet, SMS, voicemail, media services, and more, without owning any towers or frequencies. The provision of these services depends on the MVNOs renting or purchasing capacities from service providers with infrastructure and then providing services to subscribers.
Mohammed Al Tamimi, Governor of CITC, mentioned that licensing MVNOs comes in line with the commission’s plans to stimulate the investment environment for Saudi Arabia’s telecom sector. “At CITC, we aim to enhance the level of competitiveness in the sector, and improve user experience, by facilitating additional service providers,” he said. Al Tamimi also highlighted telecom service providers as important partners in transforming the Kingdom into a digital society, a key component of Vision 2030, who can contribute to innovation in telecom, mobile data, and internet services.
The Saudi telecommunications sector is estimated to contribute 5.3% to the national GDP, with a market size that reached SAR 69bn ($18.4 billion) in 2020, growing by 4% from the previous year.