Objections raised against Virgin Mobile UAE's licence

Is Virgin Mobile UAE going to face the fate that the brand had to face in Qatar in 2011?
Regulation around MVNOs can be complicated to say the least.
Regulation around MVNOs can be complicated to say the least.


Saeed Saleh Al Rumaithi, a member of the UAE Federal National Council has raised objections against the launch of Virgin Mobile UAE as a second brand by EITC, according to reports in Emirates Today. He plans to seek parliamentary intervention into the issue.

Al Rumaithi said that the operation of two different brands under one administration, and using same infrastructure and services is contrary to the rules. It's essential to delve into why and how two different companies have been allowed to working under one licence, he added. 

He further questioned why the TRA didn't conduct a public auction for operators to grant a third licence instead. The licensing model of Virgin Mobile not just interferes with competitiveness of the telecom sector in the region, rather is a clear violation of rules, according to Al Rumaithi. 

History seems to repeat itself, as few years back, in  June 2011, Qatar's telecommunications regulator had ordered Qatar Qtel to close all its Virgin Mobile-branded services in the country. That decision came after Vodafone Qatar threatened to take legal action against ictQatar for allowing the partnership. Vodafone Qatar claimed Virgin's foray into the country constituted a third service provider in Qatar and so violated the terms of Vodafone’s licence.

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