RIYADH, (Reuters) – Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile telephone operator, said on Monday it had contracted three firms to operate its mobile coverage in the kingdom. In a statement on the bourse Web site, Mobily said it had signed a three-year agreement as of Feb. 26 this year with French firm Alcatel-Lucent, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
“The three companies will undertake the management, operation and maintenance of the Mobily system, including spare parts, added value services, developing network performance and maintaining excellence,” it said.
It said the agreement would allow Mobily to provide fully updated technology to subscribers at competitive prices. “This agreement will help in a big way to reduce company operating costs by perhaps more than 20 percent,” it said.
Mobily, one of two mobile telephone service providers operating in the country of 24 million people, started operations in May 2005. It now claims a 40 percent market share.
Mobily and its state-owned rival Saudi Telecom Co 7010.SE will face new competition this year when a consortium led by Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) starts operating a third mobile network in the kingdom.