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Zain outsources network operations

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – Mobile phone operator Zain has sub-contracted Nokia Siemens Networks to manage its network operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The five-year contract will see Nokia Siemens managing Zain’s over 3,000 multi-vendor mobile network sites that serve over nine million subscribers across the three countries.

Zain Africa Chief Executive Officer Chris Gabriel said the agreement will see about 350 Zain employees who work on networks operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks, under the same employment terms.

“The agreement will further strengthen Zain’s competitiveness as Nokia Siemens Networks will take over complete responsibility for network operations, allowing Zain to focus on activities core to its business. Nokia Siemens Networks will leverage its strong global service delivery capabilities through its Global Network Solutions Center (GNSC) for faster time to market, faster, higher network and service quality and improved efficiency,” he explained.

This contract marks Nokia Siemens Networks’ biggest multi-vendor outsourcing case in the region and it’s one of the first supplier swap Managed Services deals of its kind in Africa.

“Choosing Nokia Siemens Networks to help operate our networks in East Africa fits perfectly with our ‘Drive11’ business objectives of improving efficiency and the quality of our networks and operation,” he said. “As a result, we will be in a far stronger position to dedicate resources and assets to our customer-facing activities, continuing to improve customer support, developing and launching new products, services and mobile applications, as well as delivering on our Zain brand promise of ‘A wonderful world’.”
As part of the contract Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide optimization services and deploy its latest mobile softswitching and subscriber data management solutions.

Its prepaid and top-up solution based on charge@once select will ensure a faster introduction of new services and pricing bundles.

Nokia Siemens Networks will also deploy 2G and 3G radio networks with the Flexi Multiradio Base Station, opening a smooth evolution path from 2G and 3G to LTE with just a software upgrade needed. Building on the company’s market leading Flexi platform, the software definable Flexi Multiradio Base Station enables to run GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ and LTE concurrently in a single unit.

With the lowest energy consumption in the market the Flexi Base Station also underpins Nokia Siemens Networks’ commitment to environmentally sustainable solutions for radio access networks.

Mr Gabriel explained: “The company’s energy solutions and energy OPEX management will drive sustainable OPEX savings over five years while enabling reduction of the carbon footprint of the network. The so called off-grid site solution is built using batteries, cooling cabinets, generators and includes optimized point solutions to provide connectivity in off-grid / bad-grid areas while modernizing the installed base for energy efficiency.”
Notably one year after launching in Africa, Zain has been voted the top telecom brand and a top 15 brand in East Africa by Superbrands.

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