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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Zain tops operators in MEA zone

The parent company of Nigeria’s mobile operator, Zain Group, has emerged top among peers in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) zone as it bags the prestigious Best Overall Operator at the annual CommsMEA awards 2008 organized by the regions foremost business-to-business telecoms publication.

This is coming as its Bahrain operation was selected as the Middle East Operator of the Year.

The awards ceremony took place recently at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai, with the judging panel comprising of international telecom professionals and regional industry peers.

According to the citation for Zain Group, as the “Overall Operator of the Year,” the award was in recognition of the company leading the remarkable trend of mobile communications within the Middle East and Africa.

The award also recognizes Zain’s rapid transition from a single mobile operator in Kuwait with 600,000 customers in 2002 to a major telecom conglomerate in the Middle East and Africa, serving over 56 million customers in 22 countries.

“Zain, whether in terms of its new vibrant brand, strategy and vision, financials, products and services, people, management, communication with and social support of the communities it serves, has earned its right to be among the top mobile operators on the globe,” part of the citation read.

A press statement from Zain Nigeria, quoted the group’s chief executive officer, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak as saying, “This acknowledgment rewards and recognizes the dedicated efforts of our entire 16,000 workforce who have made Zain the successful company it is today. It is also an affirmation of the 3x3x3 expansion strategy we commenced back in 2003 aiming to be a top-ten global telecoms company by 2011.”

He said, Zain Group highlights over the past 12 months, included the further cementing and enhancing of its new brand across the Middle East and rebranding 14 operations in Africa from Celtel to Zain in August 2008.

The successful acquisition of Iraqna in Iraq with over 3 million customers for $1.2 billion and the acquisition of Westel in Ghana for $120 million were named as some of the landmarks that characterized the recognition.

Zain commenced operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on August 26 and in three months has attained over one million customers.

Additionally, Zain was reputed to had raised $4.5 billion from a capital increase despite the world economic turmoil and introducing ‘One Network’ to the Middle East in April and later connecting two continents in August encompassing 16 countries, 50 million customers and population coverage of 500 million people.

“This service is contributing to the economic and social well-being of many communities,” the Public Relations Manager, Zain Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Otokhine said.


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