Zain Saudi signs network deals worth €882M

Zain Saudi Arabia said it has signed infrastructure supply contracts worth 4.5 billion riyals (€882 million/$1.2 billion) to develop and expand its network.

In a statement on the Saudi Stock Exchange web site, the company said deals were signed with equipment manufacturers Huawei, Nokia, NEC Corporation, Cisco Systems International and Alcatel Lucent.

It added that the deals relate to a project to be delivered over three years starting from June 25, providing Zain Saudi with a modern network including LTE technology to cope with the growing demand for data services. The project will be financed from the company's own internal resources.

In a separate release, Nokia Networks said the network expansion and upgrade programme for Zain Saudi is called RELOAD. The Finnish vendor added that it will also refarm the existing 2100 MHz spectrum in addition to the 1800 MHz band, to enable Zain Saudi to expand its LTE services.

Zain Saudi said it expects the project to increase network coverage to 96 per cent, while network capacity and performance will be significantly improved.

"Zain will be able to capture more traffic, generate more revenues and optimise costs," the company said.

Zain Saudi is one of eight operators owned by the Kuwait-based Zain Group, which covers markets in the Middle East and Africa.

For more:
- see this stock exchange statement
- see this Nokia Networks statement

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Kuwait's Zain sued over 2007 Iraqi acquisition
Saudi regulator to re-tender Zain MVNO licence
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