Zain issued with third mobile phone licence in Saudi Arabia

03 April 2008
Zain, the acquisitive Kuwaiti telecoms company, has received the licence permitting it to set up Saudi Arabia’s third mobile phone operator.

Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator issued the licence a week and a half after Zain’s Saudi subsidiary floated 45 per cent of its equity on the Tadawul stock exchange.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also issued approval for Zain to start offering commercial services.

Zain Saudi Arabia’s chief executive officer Marwan al-Ahmadi reiterated that the company would sign up its first customer by the end of June.

Etihad Etisalat, the second largest mobile operator in the kingdom, surprised analysts earlier this week when it revealed that it had sold 4 million more phones in 2007 than the market had expected (MEED 1:04:08).

Zain will launch into a market that grew at nearly 40 per cent in 2007, almost double what analysts had expected.

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