Zain Group & Omantel launch joint venture for wholesale telecom services

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Zain & Oman launches ZOI
Image Courtesy; Zain Group

Zain Group, a leading telecommunications operator providing services in seven markets across the Middle East and Africa, and Omantel, Oman telecom company, have launched a new joint venture (JV), Zain Omantel International (ZOI).

ZOI is an unprecedented JV that will establish itself as the Middle East’s premier international wholesale services provider, Omantel and Zain said in a joint statement.

This exclusive partnership aims to revolutionize the wholesale telecommunications sector by offering a unique proposition that combines the strengths of both parties to deliver unparalleled service and support to customers worldwide.

ZOI signifies a substantial advancement in the telecommunications industry and is poised to become a global powerhouse with Zain’s extensive regional presence and success in the retail and digital arenas, combined with Omantel’s exceptional wholesale capabilities and comprehensive international subsea and terrestrial networks.

Bader Al Kharafi_ZOI formed for wholesale services
Bader Al Kharafi
VC & Group CEO
Zain Group

“This strategic value-enhancing partnership reflects the next stage of industry collaboration and advancement, and represents another significant milestone of our ‘4Sight’ profitable growth strategy. It also demonstrates our commitment to transforming the business and creating synergies while extending our reach and capabilities to provide the highest quality services to our customers. ZOI is ideally positioned to evolve into a significant international player on the wholesale telecommunications scene that will benefit both Zain and Omantel on financial, commercial and operational levels.”

Zain Group will be holding a 74 percent stake in the JV share capital whereas Omantel’s share will be 26 percent. ZOI will cater to the end-to-end telecommunications needs of operators in the Middle East, as well as international carriers, data centers, hyper scalers, content, and cloud providers seeking services within the region and beyond.

As a result, ZOI will manage all international wholesale requirements of Zain and Omantel operations in eight countries, serving over 55 million customers. Furthermore, ZOI will optimize the existing wholesale businesses of both companies by reducing operating costs and increasing competitiveness through access to state-of-the-art low-latency and high-capacity services over its extended footprint.

Omantel’s CEO Mr. Talal al Mamari said that “The joint venture with Zain is a testament to our unwavering commitment to transforming the international arm of Omantel Group into a leading global provider, building on our existing position as a top regional wholesale player. ZOI is poised to become the primary gateway from our region to the rest of the world, leveraging the combined strengths of Omantel and Zain. With these differentiating factors, ZOI is the preferred partner with a truly unique presence in the international telecommunications landscape.”

ZOI, in collaboration with the Omantel and Zain Group operating companies, will ensure that Zain and Omantel customers continue to experience supreme quality in international services such as internet connectivity, voice, roaming, messaging and more. Some noteworthy projects that ZOI will undertake, along with its consortium partners include the development of Blue-Raman, Africa-1, Jeddah to Marseille (J2M) subsea systems and an extensive terrestrial network connecting most of the regional countries to the landing stations and data centers.

Mr. Sohail Qadir has been appointed as the CEO of Zain Omantel International (ZOI). With a proven track record of success, Mr. Qadir has spearheaded the development and expansion of Omantel’s international wholesale business. During the 13-year tenure as the vice president of wholesale at Omantel, Mr. Qadir successfully positioned the company on the global map and increased revenues tenfold.

Mr. Qadir added that “The region has matured in terms of the scope and consumption of reliable wholesale services, and this strategic partnership in this integral part of the telecom business is well-timed to capitalize on global trends. I look forward to leading ZOI in delivering differentiated services to regional and international customers alike, and providing increased value and enhanced customer experience to all associated stakeholders across our extensive operational footprint.”

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