May 27 2012
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Oman's Renna Eyes Saudi, Egyptian Telecom Expansion Via MVNOs -CEO
Sunday, May 27, 2012
--Eyes Saudi Arabia, Egypt telecommunications markets through MVNOs
--Looking for a Saudi telecoms partner with a "strong network"
--Hopes to leverage existing popularity amongst Egyptians living in Oman
Of ZAWYA DOW JONES
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)-- Majan Telecommunications , the Oman-based mobile virtual network operator better known as Renna , is eyeing expansion in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, encouraged by the significant growth prospects both markets offer, the telco's chief executive said.
The way MVNOs typically work is by renting capacity on an existing mobile operator's network. Several telcos in the Middle East are pursuing such licenses to fuel international expansion without incurring hefty capital expenditure bills.
Klingefjord said that while Renna hasn't decided which operator in Saudi to partner with yet, they will be looking for a telco with "a strong network."
"If you look at Oman for instance, Oman Mobile has utilized the two MVNOs, Renna and Friendi, in a good way, which helped Oman Mobile to get a big market share," said Klingefjord.
"I think it could be the same approach in Saudi for the MVNO to look at a network operator that has a strong network. It [the mobile network provider] also has a customer base where a strategic fit with the MVNO would be good. You choose a specific market segment that you target," he added.
Saudi Arabia is expected to introduce three MVNO licenses in the Kingdom during 2012.
A recent HSBC report on MVNOs in Saudi Arabia suggested that operators with the widest network coverage should benefit the most from MVNOs, because through the MVNO it can book wholesale revenues from the low cost segment of the market and concentrate its marketing and acquisition efforts on the higher segments like the enterprise and post paid customers.
In terms of Egypt, Renna is hoping to leverage its existing popularity in Oman with Egyptian expats to make inroads into North African country. The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is expected to issue a tender for the country's first MVNO in about three months time.
"Egypt is interesting for us," said Klingefjord. "In Oman we have a lot of Middle class people from Egypt, a lot of teachers, and within Renna we have a big community of Egyptians so it is interesting. You can have preferential rates between the two markets and specific packages like family packages and so forth".
-By Shereen El Gazzar, Dow Jones Newswires; +971 444 61684; Shereen.firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @ZDJnews
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