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Zain in partnership talks with Vodafone

29 августа 2012

Mobile Telecommunications Co., or Zain Group, said it is in advanced talks with Vodafone Group PLC regarding a strategic partnership, a tie-up that could lower roaming fees for customers of the U.K.-based telecoms giant in the Middle East and cut the cost of handsets purchased by the Kuwaiti telco.

"Vodafone has more than 40 partnerships of this nature worldwide whereby customers benefit from their global scale and the in-country operator's local expertise," Zain said in a brief emailed statement to Zawya Dow Jones."This is a non-equity deal," it added.

Zain said it will provide more details on its planned Vodafone tie-up in early autumn. No other details were provided.

A U.K.-based spokesman for Vodafone declined to comment.

Analysts said a partnership with Zain would give Vodafone access to, and lower roaming costs, in markets such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bahrain where Zain has a strong presence. For Zain, a partnership could give it a jump on its regional competitors by giving it great sway in negotiating lower handset prices from vendors.

"Roaming agreements are common between telecom players and reduces costs for customers on roaming in a partner's country" said one telecoms analyst, who asked not to be named.

Zain is one of a number of Arab Gulf telcos that have seen their earnings fluctuate in the past few quarters as most continue to consolidate their operations and cut costs. The company, which operates in eight markets across the Middle East and North Africa region, earlier this month said net profit in the second quarter was almost flat on the year.


Источник: Total Telecom

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