Etihad Etisalat Company

Mobily is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest telecommunications company and was the winning bidder for the Kingdom’s second GSM licence, putting an end to Saudi telecom’s monopoly in the wireless sector.

UAE telecom firm Etisalat owns owns 26.25 percent of Mobily, having sold an 8.74 percent stake in the company at SAR55 ($14.7) per share last year.

Mobily’s fourth quarter profit rose 51 percent on the year to $207.5m while full year profit rose to $559.9m from $373.3m in the year before, on turnover that was up 27.9 percent.

The company faces tougher competition in the mobile phone market since the third quarter of last year, when Zain Saudi Arabia, an affiliate of Kuwait’s largest telecom operator, launched a third mobile phone network in the Kingdom.

Mobily launched the iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia in February this year and is so far the only carrier to sell the Apple handset in the country. “The launching of iPhone 3G in the Saudi market is one of the most important initiatives undertaken by Mobily. The launch will enable Mobily to develop the telecommunication sector within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by providing a state-of-the-art technology to its customers,” said chief executive Khaled Al Kaf.