Bader Al-Kharafi: “Zain” is establishing strategic partnerships with the participation of the communications infrastructure in the Middle East

We are considered among the companies that called early to take advantage of the capabilities of the passive infrastructure with the strategy of «4sight»

Sharing towers will save capital expenditures and direct investments to areas of digital growth with better returns

Zain Group presented its strategy in the areas of communications and information technology infrastructure at the International Forum for “TowerXchange”, which is the largest global gathering of operators and investors in the field of telecom towers.

In a statement, the group revealed that this event was an opportunity to discuss best practices in managing passive infrastructure, reduce operational costs, and accelerate infrastructure participation.

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani

She added, “The regional and global telecom markets are witnessing an increasing interest in infrastructure work and tower sharing, as many operators were reluctant to adopt infrastructure sharing, due to the special perception that prevailed that towers were a source of competitive advantage, but all this has changed now.”

Zain pointed out that with the continued increase in the demand for data, the slowdown in revenue growth due to the increasing reliance on OTT services, and the market trends towards digital services, the companies operating the telecommunications networks began to invest in improving network capacity and shifting their interests towards infrastructure sharing .

This comes at a time when international rating agencies expected that tower-sharing operations for telecom network operators in the Middle East and African markets would accelerate, with the aim of improving capital, as operating companies would tend to cooperate in their participation, as this step would contribute to increasing revenues, especially as it would allow operating companies to direct Its investment is based on sales proceeds in commercial projects.

Badr Nasser Al-Kharafi, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zain, said that telecom companies are looking for growth opportunities in their operational strategies that provide them with more revenues, and that the sharing of infrastructure opens the way for expansion in projects with higher returns, where expenditures are directed. Operational areas for new growth in the digital sector.

Al-Kharafi stated that Zain realizes that the strategic orientation towards the areas of communications and information technology infrastructure will push its business plans to bypass telecommunications services and achieve its vision of becoming the leading provider in information and communication technology and digital lifestyles, as this step will enhance its access to government entities and sector institutions Private, and build its regional centers for cloud hosting and cybersecurity.


Al-Kharafi mentioned that Zain is currently working on exploiting the potential of the infrastructure, and is planning to enter into strategic partnerships with entities specialized in infrastructure sharing, with the aim of unleashing the latent capabilities of our resources, and entering into new business sectors that enhance growth opportunities in this field, and contribute to Economic and technological development of the region’s markets.

Al-Kharafi said that Zain was one of the institutions that called early on to benefit from the value that its passive infrastructure capabilities could provide in the Middle East markets, and that it was logical that it would explore these opportunities through a long-term strategy.

He stated that “Zain” was one of the first companies to initiate the trend of infrastructure sharing, as it was the pioneer in the Middle East and African markets in telecom tower agreements, after it concluded the first sale and re-lease of telecom towers in the region to the IHS Holding Company in the Kuwaiti market. .

He stated that this deal included the sale and lease of 1620 communication towers (the tower structure, internal and external construction works, electrical works, fuel, power supplies and cables), with a value of $ 130 million (40 million dinars).

He emphasized Zain’s aspiration for this step to help it reach emerging growth areas, and to push its business strategy towards new heights in the business environment, which is witnessing more dependence on the economy based on digital services.

Al-Kharafi indicated that the areas of infrastructure and sharing towers are one of the main pillars of our business strategy (Sight4), especially with the acceleration of all areas of life to the digital sector, and the need for telecom network operators to constantly reinvent their service portfolio, as the continuous search for new sources to enhance and diversify revenues.

Al-Kharafi explained that this step will enhance Zain’s success in spreading 5G networks as well, and that the group is one of the largest companies that owns fifth generation networks in the Middle East and African markets, as it currently owns 5G networks in the markets of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Regional ecosystem

This regional event dealt with the infrastructure ecosystem for telecom towers in the MENA region, and highlighted the tremendous growth opportunities that this vital sector offers to companies operating telecommunications networks.

For his part, Camille Hilali, Chief Strategy Officer at Zain Group, said during his participation in the event that she believes that cooperation in the areas of infrastructure and information technology will bring better benefits to it than if it preferred to work alone.

Therefore, Zain continues to search for the possible opportunities that provide it with the best working environment for managing telecom towers, especially with the investments it makes in the field of infrastructure for the fifth generation networks, he added.

Hilali reviewed the progressive role of infrastructure sharing in reducing the operating expenses of networks, and whether the high operating expenses associated with the deployment of fifth generation companies necessarily require the development of digital infrastructure companies, or a coalition of partners who provide networks as a service to increase the effectiveness of implementation.

Greater value

As one of the leading companies in this field in the Middle East and African markets, Zain presented its ideas regarding the most influential strategies for extracting the greatest value from the passive infrastructure of any mobile telecommunications company. And whether these investments are achieving the desired returns, and how will consumers, regulators, or private networks drive the next wave of 5G investment?

Zain is well aware of the benefits of sharing the infrastructure. Zain Saudi Arabia and Mobily announced joint plans to establish an alliance to acquire the telecom towers currently owned by the two entities and merge them into a new commercial entity.

The digital transformation that Zain is adopting requires a deeper use of analytics in managing operational processes, and a comprehensive understanding of customer needs, as it is committed to collaborating with organizations of all sizes to provide them with the latest business solutions to achieve their operational and commercial goals.

Integrated regional provider

Zain’s ambition in the long term is to transform into an integrated regional provider, meaning that it combines fixed and mobile telecommunications services, serving individual and corporate consumers.

The group seeks to search for the best opportunities to maximize its cash flow, as it has entered into asset sharing operations with other institutions in its markets.

The group plans to sell and lease back its towers, which would allow it to share the infrastructure, as this would accelerate its journey in digital transformation.

Zain has designed its strategy to go beyond the traditional role of its business of providing only telecommunications services, and places special emphasis in its strategy on institutions and the government sector as important drivers of growth indicators, by helping companies and governments achieve their strategic, operational and financial goals.

Zain is committed to enriching its portfolio with products and services that increase operational efficiency standards, enhance levels of trust, and is currently establishing a major regional center to develop and provide infrastructure services and managed services, to expand IT services, reliable digital communications, and rapid response services.

Communication shifts

Transformations in the telecommunications industry are expected to assist operating companies, especially regional and international companies, in facing economic and geopolitical challenges, and those related to currency fluctuations, taxes, and increased competition.

These new trends in the areas of infrastructure and towers will contribute to the withdrawal of investments allocated to the development, improvement and construction of towers, and direct them in areas of investment with better returns, while the participation of towers will help in maintaining better control of operating costs.

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