Zain Saudi telecom plans June launch - Emirates24|7

Zain Saudi telecom plans June launch


Mobile Telecommunications Co's Saudi affiliate plans to start operations by June this year, the company's chief executive told Al Arabiya television on Saturday.


Zain Saudi Arabia the kingdom's third mobile phone company, started trading at SR22 (Dh21.54) on its debut on the Riyadh stock exchange.


"We will launch the service by the end of the first half of 2008 or by June ... but this is subject to achieving quality standards," Marwan al-Ahmadi told the television. He did not elaborate.


Zain sold shares in Zain Saudi Arabia, of which it owns 25 per cent, at SR10 (Dh9.79) each in an initial public offering in February that was 183 per cent oversubscribed.


The company's network would initially only cover 53 per cent of the population, but it will coordinate with rivals Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and UAE's Etisalat to provide wider coverage, Ahmadi said. He added that Zain planned to fully depend on its own infrastructure within three years.


Kuwait-based Zain, which operates in about 20 countries, is expanding its overseas operations to counter rising competition at home, where STC is to set up the country's third mobile phone company. (Reuters)