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Zain KSA launches Friendi package

Zain KSA takes aim at international segment with launch of Friendi mobile package.

Zain KSA launches Friendi package
Dr. Saad Al Barrak (left), CEO of Zain KSA and HRH Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Naif Alsaud, chairman of Connect Saudi Limited.

Zain KSA, Saudi Arabia's third mobile operator, has launched a new pre-paid mobile package in partnership with Friendi Goup, a UAE-based company that has MVNOs in Oman and Jordan.

The package, which will be available in more than 1000 distribution outlets, was launched in partnership with Connect Saudi Limited LLC, a company owned by Friendi Group and prominent Saudi Arabian and regional shareholders.

"This is a partnership outsourcing agreement rather than an MVNO," Mikkel Vinter, CEO, Friendi Group, told CommsMEA. "It is a package operated by Zain but branded Friendi. We will be working with Zain on certain aspects of the branding and distribution and services and so on, so it is a joint effort."

Vinter added that the package is designed to target international customers including foreigners who live in Saudi Arabia and nationals who have family or friends overseas, although roaming rates will be the same as those offered by Zain KSA.

However, the package is being targeted at price conscious customers, with the cost of sending an international SMS set at 25 Halalas ($0.06) and customers able to call their three favourite local Friendi numbers at a local rate of 40 Halalas ($0.10).

Customers who opt for the package will be able to access various services including international content and credit transfer.

Saad Al-Barrak, CEO, Zain KSA, said that the partnership with Friendi Group was part of a strategy that "falls in line with Zain KSA's policy to cope with the incremental demand on its services".

Zain KSA became Saudi Arabia's third mobile operator in 2008, after Zain Group paid $6.1 billion for the licence in 2007.

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