Qtel inks frame agreement with ZTE

Agreement aims to support rollout of GSM, WCDMA and LTE technology

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Qtel inks frame agreement with ZTE
Dr Nasser Marafih said the agreement with ZTE would improve the telco's cost base.
By  Roger Field Published  March 4, 2012

Qatar's Qtel Group has signed a frame agreement with ZTE, giving the operator access to ZTE's latest WCDMA and LTE technology.

Through the partnership, Qtel and ZTE have agreed long-term pricing models which will offer significant saving across the group's companies, which include Indosat, Asiacell, Wataniya, Kuwait, Nawras, Tunisiana, Nedjma and Qtel.

One of the components of Qtel's strategy for tackling the changes affecting the communications sector is to improve cost optimisation, the telco said. "Frame agreements with major companies like ZTE provide the necessary infrastructure foundations for its pursuit of this goal," the operator said in a statement.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO, Qtel Group, said that ZTE offered "world-class technology that is priced to reflect the realities of a new global economy".

The agreement was signed on the third day of GSMA Mobile World Congress, the annual global gathering of mobile communications companies in Barcelona, Spain.

During the event, Marafih also said that Qtel remained interested in growing via acquisitions, as well as organically across its existing operations.

In an interview with Reuters, Marafih confirmed reports that Qtel was considering buying out the 19% stake in Asiacell owned by London-based private equity partner MerchantBridge.

"That is something that could be investigated. That is the general strategy. We're going through the IPO stage but that's something that could be up for discussion with the partners," he told Reuters.

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