MVNO Lebara launches in Saudi Arabia
European-based MVNO Lebara has announced the launch of its services in Saudi Arabia over Mobily’s network. The provider, named Lebara Mobile KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), was granted the licence as part of the Saudi regulator’s attempt to shake-up the country’s telecoms market by ordering each of the three operators to host an MVNO.
Lebara, which primarily targets migrant communities with its pay-as-you-go SIM deals and related products, currently operates across eight European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK), as well as in Australia.
It said in Saudi Arabia it targets the estimated 10 million expatriates living in the country, where pre-paid SIM cards and top-up vouchers will be sold through the Saudi Post and other retailers.
“We are thrilled to be working with our Saudi partners and we’re looking forward to building more partnerships in the Gulf region,” Yoganathan Ratheesan, Chairman and CEO of Lebara Group said.
“Offering high quality and low cost mobile products to migrant communities is the driving force of our business. With today’s launch we’ll be able to offer this service to the millions of expats living and working in Saudi Arabia, helping them stay connected to their friends and family at home.”
Fadi Kawar, CEO of Lebara KSA said: “One of Lebara’s main objectives in KSA is to bridge the gap and provide more affordable international and local voice, as well as data services for our market segments in KSA, while maintaining high quality levels.”
For the time being, Saudi Arabia remains only one of two countries in the Gulf region to allow MVNOs, Oman being the other one. In September Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) started operations over the Saudi operator STC’s network.
By Auri Aittokallio