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The digital sub-brand model can support operators’ ambitions to explore new areas for growth

Karim Yaici Senior Analyst, Research

"The digital sub-brand model can be adapted to allow operators to target new segments and enter new verticals, but there is a risk of service substitution and brand value dilution if not done carefully."

EITC (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company), Etisalat and STC launched sub-brands (Virgin Mobile, Swyp and Jawwy, respectively) in response to the increasingly saturated mobile markets across the Gulf region and the growing competition from web-scale companies. Their objective was to offer an appealing proposition to the already digitally savvy youth population.

This comment provides an overview of digital sub-brands in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and discusses the potential for operators to expand into new segments and to adapt the model to enter new non-telecoms ventures.