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Zain adds 3G capability to 'One Network'

Kuwaiti mobile operator targets business travelers with improved roaming data service

Mobile operator Zain has expanded its One Network offering to include data services, allowing its 3G subscribers to access internet and email in numerous countries in the region without incurring roaming surcharges.

The Kuwait-based mobile operator, which already allows its users to make calls at local rates throughout a network of 19 countries, said that the roaming data services are now available in Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Kuwait is expected to join the network for data by the end of the month.

The service is being launched separately for the Middle East and Africa, with cross-continent connectivity being added later in 2009.

The development makes Zain the first mobile operator in the world to introduce cross-border local, GRX- based data access, which allows faster speeds than traditional internet roaming, the company said.

“‘One Network’ revolutionised the concept of roaming and changed the way people communicate with its borderless mobile voice service,” said Dr Saad Al Barrak, CEO, Zain Group. “Including data services will add a new dimension to the customer experience.”

Zain will continue to roll out high speed data access across the rest of the countries included in One Network during 2009.