Zain throws its weight behind Windows Phone
Zain partners with Microsoft to bring Windows Phone devices to the MENA region
Kuwait's Zain Group has sealed an agreement with Microsoft Middle East and Africa to bring Windows Phone devices to the MENA region.
Zain and Microsoft will target businesses and consumers across the telco's mobile operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan with Windows Phone devices, when the software and devices are launched later in the year.
The two companies hope that the partnership will foster the development of an applications ecosystem within Zain's mobile network, encouraging developers to create mobile apps for the region.
Nabeel Bin Salamah, CEO of Zain Group, said that the telco had the "utmost confidence" in Windows smartphone technology.
Gustavo Fuchs, Microsoft's mobility director, Middle East and Africa said that IDC recently projected that Windows Phone will have the second largest share of the smartphone market by 2015.
"We are seeing huge smartphone growth in the region and this is expected to continue with a prediction of 38% year-on-year growth for 2012. The partnership with local mobile phone operators will help drive the appetite of consumers in the region."
Zain, which signed the deal during Mobile World Congress, operates in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the company manages mtc-touch on behalf of the government, and in Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in Wana Telecom, now branded ‘INWI', through a joint venture.