Mobily to Sell Surplus Capacity to Foreign MVNOs

Saudi Arabia Telecom Company “Mobily” is in talks to sell surplus network capacity to a number of foreign operators, the firm’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

The negotiations come after the Kingdom’s telecoms regulator said it would issue three Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) licenses in 2012.

MVNOs lease excess capacity from conventional operators, which earn wholesale revenue and also include MVNO subscribers as their own, potentially boosting market share.

“We are talking to a number of MVNO operators worldwide,” Mobily CEO Khalid Al-Kaf said 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.”

Al-Kaf said Mobily, an affiliate of United Arab Emirates former monopoly Etisalat, was likely to decide on whether it will host an MVNO by the end of the third quarter, as Reuters stated.

In the Gulf, only Oman has issued MVNO licenses, where former monopoly Omantel has hosted these operators to target low income expat groups and win back market share from rival Nawras, a unit of Qatar Telecom.