Posts tagged ‘Zain’
According to online portal MEED, Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel) will make a decision regarding the sale of minority stake to Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain on 9 February. Paltel, which holds a monopoly in the fixed line sector in the West Bank and Gaza, will assess the offer at a meeting of its board of directors. The announcement comes after reports at the end of January 2008 that talks between Paltel and Zain regarding a stake sale were at ‘advanced’ stages.
Zain Malawi has launched a wireless hotspot service around the country, according to cellular-news. Zain Malawi marketing director, Enwell Kadango, said ‘With the hotspots, we have gone a mile further offering our customers a modem they can use on their laptops or desktop computers to access internet anywhere.’ He added that the provision of wireless hotspots (Wi-Fi) underscores the company’s commitment to ensure that ICT can be accessed by all, whether in urban or rural areas. Zain Malawi had a wireless subscriber base of 1.17 million at end-September 2008, representing a market share of 74.5%.
MTN Ghana (formerly Spacefon Areeba) launched its 3.5G service in Ghana on 28 January using high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology. MTN says its new network will offer a range of data-oriented services and provide for more efficient delivery of existing services such as voice, SMS, MMS, and mobile internet access. Local press were given the opportunity to experience the benefits of 3.5G in a specially-constructed phone booth. Going forward, MTN Ghana plans to roll out more HSDPA-enabled phone booths in the capital Accra. In December 2008 Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology – a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.
According to the Ugandan ICT minister, the number of wireless subscribers rose to 8.2 million at the end of 2008. While addressing a delegation of member countries of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Ham Mulira added that mobile penetration stood at around 25%.
At the end of September 2008 MTN retained a position of strength in the Ugandan wireless arena, with a market share of 42% (3.23 million subscribers), though this was down from 57.6% 18 months earlier. Zain was next largest, with 1.86 million customers, while UTL had an estimated 1.65 million. Newcomer Warid claimed a laudable million customers at the end of September 2008, or 13% of the market, just eight months after launch.
Reuters is reporting that Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain is in discussions aimed at taking a stake in Palestinian fixed line and broadband provider Palestinian Telecommunications Company (Paltel). A spokesman for Zain confirmed that talks between the two companies are at ‘advanced’ stages, and a deal could be concluded soon. It has not been confirmed however whether Zain is pursuing a majority in stake in Paltel, and trading in the latter company has been suspended on the Palestine stock exchange until any further announcements are made by the operators regarding the merger.
Saudi Telecom company (STC) has won Bahrain’s third mobile network operating licence with a bid of BHD86.7 million (USD231 million), the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced yesterday, breaking the duopoly of state-run Batelco and Kuwaiti-owned Zain. According to Reuters, STC plans to launch its Bahraini operations in the second half of this year and aims to acquire a 20% market share in ten years. The Saudi telco has also committed itself to establishing a USD300 million venture capital fund in Bahrain that will nurture communications and IT companies in the region. Three other firms had registered interest in the auction, but did not bid. Mohammed al-Amer, chairman of the TRA, confirmed that these were Bahraini operators 2Connect and Mena Telecom alongside a consortium including France Telecom subsidiary Jordan Telecom. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have strong links, as several million people cross a causeway linking the two kingdoms every year.
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second-largest mobile phone operator beat analysts’ fourth-quarter earnings forecasts due to higher revenues from voice and data services.
Mobily made 778 million riyals ($207.5 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, 51 percent higher than the 514.4 million riyals ($137.2 million) it made a year-earlier, the firm said in a statement posted on the bourse’s website.
Analysts forecast of Mobily’s fourth-quarter earnings ranged from 458 million riyals ($122.15 million) to 605.6 million riyals ($161.52 million), according to a Reuters survey.
The affiliate of Emirates Telecommunications Corp made a net profit of 2.09 billion riyals in 2008 up from 1.38 billion riyals in 2007 after its turnover rose 27.9 percent. The rise in 2008 turnover stemmed from “a rise in the number of subscribers, minutes of communications and an increase in demand for broadband services,” it said.
Earnings per share rose to 4 riyals ($1.07) in 2008 from 2.64 riyals ($0.70) the previous year. The company will give its shareholders a dividend of 0.75 riyal ($0.2) per share for 2008.
Mobily competes with Saudi Telecom Co, the largest Arab telecom firm by market value, for mobile phone and broadband users in the kingdom, home to 25 million people. The company posted a worse-than-expected 62 percent fall in Q4 results on Tuesday.
Zain Saudi Arabia, an affiliate of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain), started operating a third mobile phone network in the third quarter of 2008.
Mobile phone penetration in the largest Arab economy exceeds 100 percent.
Emirates Telecommunications Corp owns 26.25 percent in Mobily, having sold an 8.74 percent stake in the firm at 55 riyals per share last year.