Home arrow more... arrow Apr - Jun 2009 arrow Zain in Nigeria Enters into Strategic Five-Year Outsourcing Agreement with Ericsson
Zain in Nigeria Enters into Strategic Five-Year Outsourcing Agreement with Ericsson
www.zain.com Ericsson has signed a five-year strategic managed services agreement with Zain, under which Ericsson will operate Zain's nationwide GSM/WCDMA networks in Nigeria. Serving Zain’s 4000+ base station sites across Nigeria, Ericsson will be responsible for the network and field operations, including optimization, third-party vendor management and business support systems. As part of the agreement, about 450 employees will be transferred from Zain to Ericsson.
 In the first agreement of its kind on the African continent, Zain, the leading mobile telecommunications provider in the Middle East and Africa, has teamed-up with Ericsson, the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson will be responsible for managing most of the network and field operations for Zain’s wireless networks and operational support systems, serving almost 4,000 sites across Nigeria. Also as part of the agreement, about 450 employees will be transferred from Zain Nigeria to Ericsson under their existing terms and conditions of service, where they will undergo further development in the latest wireless technologies.
Through this accord, Zain and Ericsson will be better positioned to support the evolution and growth of the local telecommunications market with each side focusing on their particular areas of specialization. This is a unique deal for Zain and a major initiative within its ACE strategy that will propel Zain into the ranks of the world’s top-ten mobile telecommunications companies by the end of the year 2011. An integral part of this strategy is for Zain to execute its ‘Drive11’ program to increase its focus on managing its customer relationships while improving its control on non-customer facing functions, some of which will be outsourced to strategic partners.
The deal also gives Ericsson its first major managed services opportunity in Africa, in particular Nigeria, reflecting the increased attention of both companies on markets where high customer growth is expected within the next five years. Zain currently serves over 15 million active customers in Nigeria.
Mr Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa, confident that the outsourcing agreement will have many benefits for the company and its customers, commented, “Choosing Ericsson, which has more than 15 years’ experience in managing outsourced networks to help operate our network in Nigeria fits perfectly with our ‘Drive11’ business objectives of improving efficiency and the quality of our networks and operations.” He further added, “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’.”
Mr Lars Lindén, President, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, was equally upbeat about the agreement, believing that Ericsson’s first managed services contract in Africa will deliver significant financial and operational efficiencies for Zain over the five-year term. “Managing outsourced networks and services are one of the fastest-growing areas in telecoms across the globe, and Nigeria is demonstrating strong growth and increased levels of investment and competition,” he said. “The synergies between the two companies will ensure best-in-class network stability and market support.”
Lindén was also excited about the prospect of the Zain employees that will be transferred to Ericsson under the agreement. “With their knowledge and expertise, Zain employees will be welcome additions to an area that is a core business for Ericsson,” he said. “This agreement will allow both companies to strengthen their competitiveness, which will ultimately increase market growth for mobile services.”
Zain’s agreement with Ericsson will improve network efficiency, make the most of Zain’s network investment and reduce operating costs for approximately 4,000 sites across Nigeria. It will further strengthen Zain’s competitiveness by achieving savings in network operations, a shorter time-to-market for new services and technologies, and improve the overall quality of service.