Etihad Etisalat’s acquisition of 99% of Bayanat Al Oula’s shares has been approved by the Communications and Information Technology Commission, according to a statement issued by Mobily Tuesday.
The SR 1.5 billion acquisition, the largest in Saudi telecommunications history, increases Mobily’s share from 33% to 66% in a one billion riyal 12,000 kilometer national fiber optic backbone.
The acquisition is expected to ultimately increase the level of competition in the broadband Internet provision segment of the telecommunications market, through the provision of high quality services at competitive prices. “The acquisition bolsters our growth and allows us to increase our market share by launching new high quality services, especially to corporate customers,” said Khalid Al Kaf, Chief Executive Officer and managing director of Mobily.
Bayanat already has an operational WiMAX network in major cities – Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and the Holy City of Makkah – as part of phase I of its launch. The acquisition of Bayanat allows Mobily to increase its reach into the broadband market segment by offering its customers service through high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) or WiMAX.