Saudi Arabia’s ministry of telecommunications plans to award three MVNO licences next year, but has ruled out offering a third full mobile licence, according to a report from Arab News.
Muhammad Jameel Mulla, minister for communications and information technology, made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia has three mobile operators: STC, Mobily and Zain KSA.
Oman and Jordan are the only countries in the Middle East to have MVNOs. Oman became the first country in the Middle East to grant licences for MVNOs in 2008, and its MVNO market is now dominated by Friendi Mobile, Renna Mobile, and Samatel. Friendi Mobile is also the sole MVNO in Jordan.
As of March 2011, Oman's resellers had an 11% market share of the country's total mobile subscriber base, or about 11.6% of the pre-paid subscriber base, according to Oman's TRA.