News Column

Zain signs SR4.5bn supply deals to upgrade network

June 26, 2014

By Abdul Hannan Tago, Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

June 26--RIYADH -- Zain Saudi has signed infrastructure supply contracts worth SR4.5 billion ($ 1.2 billion) to develop and expand its network.

The deal parties are Huawei, Nokia, NEC Corporation, Cisco Systems and Alcatel Lucent, Zain said. Stated.

Some major network expansion and upgrade agreements dubbed Reload Project were inked by Zain as part of the SR 4.5 billion cooperation deal with the five technology companies.

The agreements to enhance Zain KSA's network capacity, coverage and speed were signed by Hassan Kabbani, CEO of Zain KSA, in the presence of the heads of ICT firms, Shi Yaohong, Huawei president for Middle East; Igor Leprince, Nokia senior vice president for Middle East and Africa; Masahiro Ikeno, NEC vice president; and Mike Weston, Cisco vice president for ME and Alcatel Lucent.

In their speeches, the CEOs referred to the Saudi vibrant market and its rapid growth in terms of connectivity as well as a member of the emerging high-technology community.

Addressing a press conference, Kabbani said: "Today, we are pleased to announce a SR4.5 billion investment in our customers to meet their needs and building for the future to enhance our customer experience."

Pointing out that the Kingdom has been recognized as a leading member of the high-tech community, Kabbani said: "Saudi Arabia is ranked among the top five countries in the world for a digitally engaged society. We are proud that each and every day, more people choose to join Zain, having heard about the superior customer experience that we offer. Of course, more customers means we need more capability. This was achieved thanks to the support of the Zain Group and the confidence of our shareholders."

Kabbani added: "Today's announcement is all about building for the future to anticipate the need for more capacity. We are also expanding our 4G LTE network, making it available to more people, in more places across the Kingdom."

Kabbani invited others to try Zain and discover their innovative package, leading customer experience and the quality and speed of their network.

Sultan Al-Deghaither, acting chief technical officer, said the company aims to provide 4G LTE coverage for 90 percent of the population, including both existing and new customers, who will have real high-speed mobile Internet connectivity.

Since its launch, Zain KSA has always operated a very modern telecommunications network. "Today we are announcing the expansion of our state-of-the-art network to accommodate the exponential growth of data traffic that we see."

Zain KSA claims to be the first operator in the Middle East region to launch 4G network in September 2011.

According to Al-Deghaither, Zain KSA serves 9 million customers and has extended its network coverage to 93 percent of the population via 6,000 sites. Through its state-of-the-art 4G LTE network, and its 9,000 points of sale, the ever-evolving operator is attracting thousands of new voice and data customers daily.

On Zain KSA's reload project, the official said the core asset of any mobile service provider is its network. Zain KSA needs to expand the capacity and coverage of its network to keep pace with the ever increasing demand that Zain is experiencing.

According to him, for many customers, Zain is already the broadband mobile network of choice within the Kingdom. By expanding the coverage of its 4G LTE network, more people within the Kingdom will also be able to enjoy the freedom of a real high-speed mobile data network.

Zain's existing customers will benefit from a significant expansion in capacity offered by the reload project. The exponential growth in capacity in the data traffic clearly shows that consumers in the Kingdom have a real and ever-increasing hunger for high speed mobile data services.

"Reload project is critical to Zain KSA in maintaining an excellent customer experience, which is why every day we have new customers joining Zain," he said.

Zain will use its own financial resources to finance the deals, officials said.


(c)2014 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

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