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Vodafone in pact talks with Zain
28 August 2012
Zain and Vodafone reported to be talking about Middle East deal to share handset costs and cut roaming fees
Vodafone is said to be close to an agreement with Kuwait-based Zain with an aim to expand access to networks across the Middle East, reports Bloomberg citing two unnamed people close to the matter.
According to the sources, the proposed agreement would allow Vodafone to reduce roaming fees and share handset-purchasing costs.
Zain has six operations in the Middle East — Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia — plus Sudan in north Africa. Vodafone has stakes in operators in Qatar and Egypt.
Vodafone is expected to make an official announcement about the agreement this week, added a source.
Vodafone signed agreements with a number of Asian operators in 2011 to reduce roaming rates and provide better network coverage.
Zain sold most of its African assets to Bharti Airtel of India in 2010. Its shareholders failed to sell control of the company after UAE-based operator Emirates Telecommunications cancelled a $12 billion offer for a majority stake in the company. GTB
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