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Zain is ‘Best Overall Africa and Middle East Mobile Operator’

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Zain Group was awarded the prestigious ‘Best Overall Operator in Africa and Middle East’ at the annual CommsMEA Awards 2008 organised by the region’s foremost business-to-business telecoms publication. Additionally, 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.

The citation for Zain Group winning ‘Overall Operator of the Year,’ said that 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.’

On this prestigious award, Dr Saad Al Barrak said, ‘This acknowledgment rewards and recognises 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.’

Zain Group highlights over the past 12 months, to name a few, include:

• The further cementing and enhancing the new Zain 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 $1.2bn and the acquisition of Westel in Ghana for $120m.

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

• Raising $4.5bn from a capital increase despite the world economic turmoil.

• 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 citation for Zain Bahrain winning the ‘Middle East Operator of the Year’ award noted, ‘Zain Bahrain has put the Kingdom of Bahrain on the global telecoms map by notching up several technological ‘world firsts’ for its customers. It was selected for its consistent innovation and capacity to harness cutting-edge telecommunications technology in ways that are unique, customer-friendly and which make a significant difference to customer lifestyle for the better. In a short period of 5 years, the operation has attained nearly a 50% market share, quite an achievement against the once dominant incumbent operator.’

Zain Bahrain General Manager Mohammed Zainalabedin said, ‘This award is especially significant as it comes to us on our fifth anniversary of operating in Bahrain. Since its inception Zain Bahrain has focused on bringing the best telecoms technology and service to our customers. Our continued growth and string of global firsts ranging from nationwide WiMAX to One Network borderless ‘regional’ service have enriched lives in Bahrain and beyond.’

He added, ‘By far our greatest success story has been our ability to tap into the potential of Bahrainis to manage our growth and technological success. Zain Bahrain is proud of its international team which brings the best of the industry to Bahrain and which is anchored in the talent of Bahrainis to take the company to great heights. I therefore accept this award in the name of all the Zain Bahrain team.’

The 3rd annual CommsMEA Awards 2008 seek to recognise and reward telecommunications industry professionals and operators that have shown outstanding performance and results in key market segments of the telecommunications industry in the Middle East and Africa.

Source: AME Info

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