By John Lee.
Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile-phone company, is said to be nearing an agreement with Zain to expand access to networks across countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bahrain.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the deal would let UK-based Vodafone lower roaming fees and share handset- purchasing costs.
Vodafone is seeking to tap a market where wireless calling and data usage is soaring. Annual smartphone shipments in the Middle East and Africa are set to climb to 152 million devices, or 21.7 percent of the population, by 2015, from 36.7 million in 2011, according to London-based research firm Ovum.