Virgin Mobile MEA targets 10M subscribers in 5 years

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) said it is targeting more than 10 million subscribers within five years after the mobile virtual operator (MVNO) announced that it has now reached 2.5 million users in the region.

VMMEA, which said in 2013 that it intended to extend the Virgin Mobile brand to markets in the Middle East, became the first fully licensed MVNO in Saudi Arabia in 2014 and achieved 1 million users in the kingdom in 2015.

As well as Saudi Arabia, the Dubai-based company operates MVNOs in South Africa, Oman, Jordan, and Malaysia, and is targeting 10 operations in total over the next five years. United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait have previously been cited as potential targets.

Mikkel Vinter, CEO and founder of VMMEA, noted that the region is extremely dynamic in terms of mobile services take-up.

"In the Gulf region, in particular, there is an increasing focus to the customer experience both via traditional and digital channels," Vinter said. "The swift and sustained adoption of VMMEA services signals that as a group we are well positioned for this change."

VMMEA is the holding company for Virgin Mobile's expansion into the Middle East and Africa regions. It was first established in 2006 and renamed in 2012 when Virgin Group and FRiENDi Group combined their shareholdings in Virgin Mobile South Africa and FRiENDi Mobile businesses.

Both Virgin and FRiENDi have been retained as consumer-facing brands. For example, FRiENDi is used in Oman, Jordan and Malaysia while Virgin Mobile is used in the other markets.

In 2014, Virgin Mobile South Africa also unveiled new mobile plans that it hopes will help it achieve an ambitious goal of reaching 1 million subscribers in the next three years.

VMMEA also operates Eris Telecom, which provides international wholesale carrier services among other offerings.

For more:
- see this VMMEA release

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