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A fourth telecom player is set to enter the Kuwait market which serves around 4 million people. Kuwait’s Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority has announced that a license will be granted to a virtual telecom operator by the first quarter of 2020.

Virtual network operators lease capacity from conventional operators and pay them in return a percentage of the revenue in addition to fixed fees. According to Reuters, applications must be submitted by November 14, 2019 and the selected application will be announced by February 6, 2020.

The applicant will have to partner with a company that can provide it with the technology, know-how and operational and management experience. The partner will also own at least 40% of shares and have a five-year management agreement.

Existing telecom providers or any party that has 25% or more shares in Kuwaiti telecom companies cannot apply for the license. Foreign ownership would be subject to Kuwaiti law, which restricts non-Kuwaitis to minority ownership.

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