Zain and Omantel team up for wholesale JV


The newly formed Zain Omantel International will offer global wholesale services, providing services to Middle Eastern operators, data centres, international carriers, and hyperscalers

Today, Kuwaiti telecoms group Zain and Oman-based Omantel have announced the formation of a new wholesale joint venture (JV), Zain Omantel International (ZOI).

According to a filing, Zain will own 74% of the combined wholesale business, with Omantel owning the remaining 26%.

The new company will manage the international wholesale business for both Zain and Omantel in eight countries, serving over 55 million customers.

Aiming to become a ‘global powerhouse’ in the wholesale market, ZIO will offer end-to-end wholesale communications services to network operators, international carriers, data centres, hyperscalers, content, and cloud providers throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Zain and Omantel suggest that the formation of this joint wholesale business will immediately allow them to reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness across their combined footprint.

“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,” explained Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain’s Vice-Chairman and Group CEO. “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.”

ZIO will be led by Sohail Qadir, who has served as Omantel’s VP of Wholesale for 13 years and overseen investments in over 20 subsea cables.

Indeed, ZIO will be deeply involved with Zain and Omantel’s ongoing submarine cable projects, such as the Blue-Raman, Africa-1, Jeddah to Marseille (J2M) systems, which are being deployed alongside various consortium partners. These projects will be supported by an extensive terrestrial communications network.

“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 telecommunications 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,” said Qadir.

How will the creation of this new wholesaler impact the submarine communications landscape of the Middle East? Join the experts in discussion at this year’s live Submarine Networks EMEA event

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