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Ericsson in first major managed services contract on the African continent with Zain Nigeria


Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC (Zain) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have entered a five-year strategic managed services agreement under which Ericsson will operate Zain’s nationwide GSM/WCDMA networks in Nigeria.

In the first agreement of its kind on the African continent, Zain, the leading mobile telecom provider in the Middle East and Africa, has teamed up with Ericsson, the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Under the agreement, Ericsson will be responsible for the network operations, field operations including optimization, third-party vendor management for Zain’s GSM/WCDMA networks, and business support systems.

Ericsson will serve more than 4000 sites across Nigeria on behalf of Zain. As part of the agreement, about 450 employees will be transferred, under their existing terms and conditions of service, from Zain to Ericsson, where they will undergo further training in the latest wireless technologies.

The contract gives Ericsson its first major managed services footprint in Africa, and reflects its continued focus on high-growth markets, where most subscriber growth is expected to take place during the next five years. Ericsson and Zain are both well positioned to support the evolution and growth of the local telecom market in Nigeria.

Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa, says the managed services agreement will have many benefits for the company, providing further thrust for Zain’s ambition to be a top-ten global mobile operator by 2011. “Choosing Ericsson, which has more than 15 years experience in managed services, to help operate our network in Nigeria is perfectly in line with our ’Drive11’ business objectives of improving efficiency and the quality of our networks and operations,” he says.

“As a result, we will be in a far stronger position to dedicate resources and assets to our core business operations, continuing to improve customer support, developing and launching new products, services and mobile applications, and delivering on our Zain brand promise of ’A wonderful world.’”

Lars Lindén, President, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says the agreement will deliver significant financial and operational efficiencies for Zain over the five-year term. “Managed services is one of the fastest-growing areas in telecoms and Nigeria is demonstrating strong growth and increased levels of investment and competition,” he says. “The synergies between the two companies will ensure best-in-class network stability and market support.”

Lindén also welcomes the Zain employees who will be transferred to Ericsson under the agreement. “With their knowledge and expertise, the Zain employees will be welcome additions to an area that is a core business for Ericsson. This agreement will allow both companies to strengthen their competitiveness, which will ultimately increase market growth for mobile services,” he says.

Zain’s agreement with Ericsson will improve network availability and capacity, make the most of Zain’s network investment and reduce operating costs for its 4000 sites across Nigeria. It will further strengthen Zain’s competitiveness by achieving savings in network operations, shorter time-to-market for new services and technologies, and improve quality of service.

Notes to editors:
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Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 250 million subscribers. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of ’communication for all’ through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27 billion (SEK 209 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and NASDAQ.

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About Ericsson’s Managed Services offering
Ericsson has the telecom industry’s most comprehensive managed services offering. It ranges from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer’s network, including end-user services and business-support systems, to hosting service applications and content, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand. As the undisputed leader in managed services, Ericsson has officially announced more than 100 contracts for managed services with operators worldwide since 2002. In all current managed services contracts, excluding hosting, Ericsson is managing networks that together serve more than 275 million subscribers worldwide.

About Zain
Zain is a leading emerging markets player in the field of telecommunications aiming to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by 2011. Today it is the 4th largest mobile network in the world in terms of geographical footprint with commercial presence in 24 countries spread across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to 64.7 million active customers as at 31 March 2009.

Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, and 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 the network on behalf of the government operating as mtc-touch. In Morocco, Zain in a joint venture owns 31% of Wana Telecom. On May 18, 2009, Zain entered into a merger agreement with Palestinian Telecommunication Company Plc (Paltel) that will result in Zain attaining 56.5% of the company subjective to regulatory approvals.

Zain offers innovative services in its markets such as One Network, the world’s first borderless mobile telecommunications network enabling customers to receive calls and sms without charge and to make them at local rates throughout many countries in Africa and the Middle East. Customers can also top up their mobiles with airtime bought in their home country or from more than 1,000,000 outlets across 18 countries.

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. ( For more, please visit or email


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