In one of the largest deals of its kind in the Middle East, Zain, one of Iraq’s leading mobile telecommunications providers, has signed a US$650 million five-year network outsourcing agreement with Ericsson, the world’s leading provider of telecommunications technology and services and its local partner SIM (Service in Motion).
Under this agreement, Ericsson will optimize, modernize and manage IT operations and Zain’s mobile network in Iraq that currently includes more than 3,700 sites across the country. This agreement also extends to the northern region of Kurdistan where Zain has recently launched commercial services and is expanding to meet customer demand.
This is a significant deal for Zain as the agreement is expected to enhance the company’s competitiveness in the Iraqi market. Zain served over 12.4 million active customers in Iraq as of 30 September 2011. The deal with Ericsson will enable Zain to increase its focus on its core customer facing business activities such as managing its customer relationships and to offer a shorter time-to-market for offering new services and technologies. The arrangement with Ericsson has the objective of improving network efficiency, reducing operating costs and optimizing Zain’s investment in Iraq.
The deal also gives Ericsson its first major managed services agreement in Iraq, reflecting the increased attention of both companies on the growing Iraqi market.
Preparing for the future, Ericsson will replace and upgrade Zain’s network by introducing a single-RAN (Radio Access Network) platform, the latest advanced multi-technology, multi-standard and multi-band platform. This more advanced technology combined with Ericsson’s managed services offering built on improved quality of service and operational efficiency is a step towards giving Zain in Iraq the ability to launch and support 3G technology, and improve its customer experience.