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Kuwait Telecommunications Company – stc  and Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa (VMMEA) received the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority’s (CITRA) approval for the first-of-its-kind mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) license to launch Virgin Mobile Kuwait (Connect Arabia WLL).

The first mobile virtual network operator in Kuwait was announced during a press conference attended by the minister of public works and minister of state for communications and information technology, Dr. Rana Al-Fares; chairman and CEO of CITRA, engineer Salim Muthib Al-Ozainah, as well as representatives from the authority, CEO of stc Kuwait, engineer Maziad Alharbi; CEO of Virgin Mobile Kuwait, Benoit Janin.

Under the arrangement, Virgin Mobile Kuwait will operate using stc’s network, with stc acting as a Host Facilities Based Provider “FBP” with Virgin Mobile Kuwait, offering prepaid plans to users, making it the first virtual telecom service provider in Kuwait.

As the region’s leading MVNO and digital innovator, VMMEA expects to leverage the strong infrastructure of stc’s network to provide superior on-demand experience for pre-paid mobile users through a range of digital solutions.

Commenting on the development, Engineer Salim Muthib Al-Ozainah, chairman and CEO of CITRA, said, “Stemming from CITRA’s goal of promoting positive competition, we are glad to license the first MNVO to Virgin Mobile Kuwait. We are also glad to see the entry of a reputable international investor such as Virgin International in bringing their digital expertise to the Kuwaiti market. This move will surely contribute greatly to the telecom sector in raising the quality of service and overall customer experience.”

The previously established consortium was led by VMMEA and included stc as a strategic partner to provide a range of new-to-market fully digital consumer services in the Kuwaiti telecom sector.

The license awarded by CITRA to Virgin Mobile Kuwait to provide MVNO services is pursuant to the agreement for the provision and resale of the services necessary to allow the reselling of services to end-users and operate as a business. Virgin Mobile Kuwait aims to launch its innovative app-based platform with proven technology derived from VMMEA’s digital operator platform, mainly targeting the local youth population.

Commenting on this significant milestone in the local telecom market, engineer Maziad Alharbi, CEO of stc, said, “In line with our commitment to assist in the development of the Kuwaiti economy, we are proud to partner with a prominent global brand to engage in a new market layer within the local telecom sector. stc's well-built network infrastructure will provide Virgin Mobile Kuwait with high quality advanced service to meet the diverse needs of its customers, specially focusing on the youth.”

Meanwhile, Erik Dudman Nielsen, founder & chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, said, “We are very excited about launching Virgin Mobile in Kuwait. This forms part of our ongoing commitment to providing customers with innovative digital propositions, transforming the traditional mobile experience. We have no doubt that Virgin Mobile will introduce a new era for mobile connectivity with customer-led services, enabling a seamless customer experience.”

Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa has established a leading position across the Middle East and Africa region. Currently operating in Saudi Arabia, Oman and providing advisory services to Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) in the UAE, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa has been catering to a continuously growing number of mobile users offering world-class products and services since 2007, serving more than 3 million customers across the region.

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