Virtual telecom operators will lease capacity from traditional operators including Zain, Ooredoo and Viva
Kuwait will introduce a virtual telecom operator licence in a bid to launch a fourth provider in the market currently dominated by Zain, Ooredoo and Viva, according to a document seen by Reuters.
As opposed to owning networks, virtual telecom operators lease capacity from traditional operators for a certain fee and revenue percentage.
The document shows Kuwait’s Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority issuing a request for license applications, which must be submitted by November 14, 2019. The approved applications will then be announced by February 6, 2020, according to the paper.
Applicants are required to partner with a tech company for a five-year management agreement, which will also own least 40% of shares.
However, Kuwait’s existing telecom providers and investors with 25% or more shares in the operators are not allowed to apply for the new license.
Expats are also restricted to minority ownership in line with Kuwait’s foreign ownership law.