RIYADH: The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced on Wednesday that it awarded licenses to two new mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), bringing the total number of MVNOs in the Kingdom to four.
The new companies to be given the licenses were the Integrated Telecom Mobile Co. and Future Networks Communications Co. after they won a competition announced by the CITC in February 2021.
The commission in 2014 awarded MVNO licenses to Virgin Mobile KSA and Etihad Jawraa.
Companies with MVNO licenses are permitted to provide users with a range of services, including voice calls, internet, SMS, voicemail, and media services. They do not own any towers or frequencies, and to operate, they lease the infrastructure from existing providers.
“At CITC, we aim to enhance the level of competitiveness in the sector and improve user experience by facilitating additional service providers,” CITC Gov. Mohammed Al-Tamimi said in a press statement.
The Saudi telecommunications sector was valued at SR69 billion ($18.4 billion) last year, growing by 4 percent year on year, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
As part of its Vision 2030 plan, the authorities are taking steps to extend seamless connectivity throughout the country.
The CITC in June announced that the coverage of 5G services in the Kingdom has increased during the first quarter of 2021.
The commission said 5G services have been extended to 53 governorates of the Kingdom as compared to 51 in the fourth quarter of 2020.