British telecom giant Vodafone has entered into a partnership deal with Zain, a Middle-eastern telecoms operator, to extend the use of mutual networks and services in the region.
The agreement signifies the importance of local partnership agreements as operators seek to reduce the cost of supporting their own networks and services. In order to reduce the roaming fees, Vodafone will team up with Zain companies in middle-east countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Iran.
Zain will be allowed to use Vodafone’s brand, devices and services in its home markets. Both operators will jointly work to improve their coverage of multinational business customers globally.
Vodafone said the deal aims to meet growing demand for voice and data communications services among multinational businesses. The telecom company also plans to introduce mobile price plans across shared operations of Zain and itself.
Hisham Akbar, deputy chief executive of Zain, said that Vodafone’s commercial insights and technical expertise “will translate into significant operational efficiencies for Zain over the long term as we transition our networks to next-generation networks and beyond.”
Ravinder Takkar, chief executive of Vodafone Partner Markets, said, “By combining the geographical reach of our companies’ respective networks, we can strengthen and deepen the benefits to our customers operating in these large and dynamic markets.”
Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile operator by sales, has been seeking to spread its coverage while avoiding expensive buyouts or heavy investments with the help of local operators.