Zain to outsource mobile network operations in East Africa

November 26, 2009 –  Zain is streamlining its mobile network operations to improve the quality of service and increase efficiency.

November 26, 2009 –  Zain is streamlining its mobile network operations to improve the quality of service and increase efficiency. As part of this process, Nokia Siemens Networks has been awarded a strategic five-year contract to optimize, modernize and manage Zain’s over 3,000 multi-vendor mobile networks sites in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The operator currently serves over 9 million customers across these three countries.
This contract marks Nokia Siemens Networks’ biggest multi-vendor outsourcing case in the region and it’s one of the first supplier swap Managed Services deals of its kind in Africa.
Nokia Siemens Networks will also implement its Energy Solutions within the Zain network to reduce operating costs and power consumption by exploiting more efficient technology for an efficient and sustainable growth across multiple east African countries. Its off-grid site solution combined with Energy OPEX management are key components included in the deal.
As part of the agreement, approximately 350 Zain employees who work on networks operations in these three East African countries are planned to transfer to Nokia Siemens Networks. They will retain their existing terms and conditions of service and will undergo further development and training in the latest wireless technologies.
Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa, said he was confident that the outsourcing agreement will have a far reaching impact on the company and its customers. “Choosing Nokia Siemens Networks to help operate our networks in East Africa fits perfectly with our ‘Drive11’ business objectives of improving efficiency and the quality of our networks and operation,” he said. “As a result, we will be in a far stronger position to dedicate resources and assets to our customer-facing activities, continuing to improve customer support, developing and launching new products, services and mobile applications, as well as delivering on our Zain brand promise of ‘A wonderful world’.”
The agreement will further strengthen Zain’s competitiveness as Nokia Siemens Networks will take over complete responsibility for network operations, allowing Zain to focus on activities core to its business. Nokia Siemens Networks will leverage its strong global service delivery capabilities through its Global Network Solutions Center (GNSC) for faster time to market, faster, higher network and service quality and improved efficiency.
“This deal is unique as it’s the first mobile network outsourcing contract in East Africa and with this we are able to capture strategic market share in the Managed Services arena that further strengthens our leadership position in this business,” said Mr Joerg Erlemeier, head of the Middle East African region, Nokia Siemens Networks. “We will also modernize the network with our state-of-the art equipment for a sustainable and robust network that has the required capacity to capture the expected high customer growth within the next five years.”
As part of the contract Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide optimization services and deploy its latest mobile softswitching and subscriber data management solutions. Its prepaid and top-up solution based on charge@once select will ensure a faster introduction of new services and pricing bundles. Nokia Siemens Networks will also deploy 2G and 3G radio networks with the Flexi Multiradio Base Station, opening a smooth evolution path from 2G and 3G to LTE with just a software upgrade needed. Building on the company’s market leading Flexi platform, the software definable Flexi Multiradio Base Station enables to run GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ and LTE concurrently in a single unit. With the lowest energy consumption in the market the Flexi Base Station also underpins Nokia Siemens Networks’ commitment to environmentally sustainable solutions for radio access networks. The company’s energy solutions and energy OPEX management will drive sustainable OPEX savings over 5 years while enabling reduction of the carbon footprint of the network. The so called off-grid site solution is built using batteries, cooling cabinets, generators and includes optimized point solutions to provide connectivity in off-grid / bad-grid areas while modernizing the install base for energy efficiency.
Notably one year after launching in Africa, Zain has been voted the top telecom brand and a top 15 brand in East Africa by Superbrands. The recognition not only reflects the power of the Zain brand in general, but also the success of Zain products and services in the East African markets in particular. Both the ground breaking borderless ‘One Network’ service and the ‘Zap’ mobile banking offering were launched there before being rolled out across the rest of Zain’s operations in Africa and the Middle East. Performance in the region has also been reflected in the 20% average growth in number of Zain customers in these three East African mobile operations over the past 12 months to September 30, 2009.

About Zain
Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 70 million active customers as at 30 September, 2009. In terms of country footprint, Zain is one of the largest mobile operators in the world with a commercial presence in 23 countries.
Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, , Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Lebanon, the company manages ‘mtc-touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain owns 31% of Wana Telecom through a joint venture.

Zain offers innovative services in its markets such as ‘One Network’, the world’s first borderless mobile telecommunications network enabling customers when abroad to receive calls and sms without charge and to make voice and data calls at local rates throughout 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. This service allows a customer to top up airtime in their home country or from more than 1,000,000 outlets within Zain’s ‘One Network’ footprint.

The Zain brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Stock ticker: ZAIN). Zain is listed in the Financial Times’ Global 500 Index which ranks the world’s largest companies based on market capitalization ( Zain aims to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by end of the year 2011. For more, please visit  or email
About ACE and Drive11
ACE is Zain’s corporate strategy. The acronym means Accelerate, Consolidate and Expand, which are the three pillars of its growth. The objective of ACE is to propel into the ranks of the world’s top-ten mobile telecommunications companies by the end of the year 2011. This year, Zain announced a strategic program on its ACE agenda, named ‘Drive11’, which will enable it to achieve ultimate efficiency in value creation. As a result, Zain will put increased focus on customer-facing functions and will enhance its control on other functions by centralizing them or by outsourcing them to strategic partners. This program comes at a vital stage of the company’s expansion vision. It will maximize economies of scale and realize significant efficiencies, providing the company with the necessary thrust to capture the large growth potential in the markets in which it operates.
About Nokia Siemens Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.
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