Virgin Mobile eyeing UAE entry, says Branson

Virgin boss says he wants to “roll out Virgin Mobile throughout the Middle East”

Virgin boss Richard Branson said on Sunday that he wants to “roll out Virgin Mobile throughout the Middle East” and added that he is in discussions to potentially bring the brand to the UAE.

He added that Virgin, which is exploring mobile opportunities in the region via its subsidiary Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa, is also interested in other Middle East markets including Bahrain and Kuwait.

Asked whether he was optimistic about gaining an mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence in the UAE, Branson told CommsMEA: “We’ll see. We have had discussions and I think the odds are that an MVNO of some kind will happen, and we’ll wait and see what the authorities have to say on it.”

Virgin Mobile is also closer to launching operations in Saudi Arabia after the country’s regulator, the CITC, revealed that the company was one of five firms shortlisted to scoop one of three MVNO licences being offered in the country.

For the Saudi Arabia MVNO licence, Virgin Mobile MEA had partnered with the country’s incumbent operator, STC, according to Mikkel Vinter, CEO of Virgin Mobile MEA.

While the company still awaits final confirmation of the KSA licence, Branson appeared upbeat about the potential of the brand in the country. “I think the perception of Virgin in the Middle East is of a quality brand and I think that is how we will pitch the brand, but we will save details of exactly how we will present it until we have got a licence and then we will hopefully come out with guns blazing,” he said.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Jules Martin

Du and Etisalat are currently the only available mobile services. It would be interesting to see if Virgin Mobile would be allowed to compete with the two as they have strong government ties.

Posted by: jonjon

doesn't uae have a duopoly in the telecommunication sector?

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Analysts say the incident was far more than a security breach...

The cost of cloud seeding in the UAE

The cost of cloud seeding in the UAE

As the country ramps up efforts to increase artificial rainfall...

3
Inside Google's brave new world

Inside Google's brave new world

The $500bn technology giant is extending its reach into hardware...

Most Discussed
  • 19
    It's time for restaurants to stop shaming smokers

    Comparing Driving to Smoking is the most shameless ploy to convince people that we should not persecute smokers.

    If your vehicle hits someone... more

    Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:47 PM - Elkhorn
  • 9
    Revealed: huge disparity in Dubai school fees

    I recall a recent study by Alpen Capital suggesting that the average cost of a child's entire life of schooling in Dubai is about AED 1 million. Although... more

    Monday, 29 May 2017 9:21 AM - New Expat
  • 5
    How Saudi Arabia blundered into OPEC oil cut

    Before Saudi Arabia's decision to move to unlimited production, analysts broadly thought break-even for shale was usd80. After the move, shale producers... more

    Tuesday, 30 May 2017 12:44 PM - Anastasios Dalgiannakis
sponsoredTracking