MTN Group set to press on with stake reduction in Nigeria

South Africa’s MTN Group is set to push ahead with a plan to reduce its majority stake in its mobile operation in Nigeria, though uncertainty caused by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic may require the sale to be executed in smaller tranches.

In May 2019, MTN Nigeria listed shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange via “listing by introduction”, which meant listing and trading of shares was restricted to those already held by existing investors

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Saudi extends MVNO license bid deadline to August 10

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has announced the extension of the competition to license new mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).

The bid process was launched on January 14, with a submission deadline May 10, which has now been extended to August 10, 2020. The Kingdom currently has two operational MVNOs – Virgin Mobile Saudi and Jawraa Lebara were licensed in 2014, operating on STC’s and Mobily’s networks respectively.

Zain sells and leases back passive infrastructure from IHS

Zain Kuwait has completed the sale and leaseback of the passive physical infrastructure of its 1,620 mobile tower portfolio for US$130 million (KD 40 million) to IHS Holding Limited (IHS). The transaction is the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator.  

Under the terms of the transaction, Zain is selling only its passive, physical infrastructure to a new purposely created entity

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STC buys into Egypt with acquisition of Vodafone stake

Vodafone Group has agreed a deal to sell its 55 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt to Saudi operator STC for US$2.4 billion, as part of plans to reduce debt and refocus on core markets.

STC is yet to complete due diligence on the acquisition, which will also require regulatory approval

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Bad to worse for Travelex as it faces aggressive ransomware attack

The cyber hacking saga at Travelex continues as media reports now suggest the international foreign currency dealer has fallen prey to a ransomware attack with a group called Sodinokibi claiming responsibility for the incident and demanding a US$6 million payment to restore systems.

It is not clear whether Travelex is considering paying any amount of ransom in order to gain back control of its data and systems. Security experts typically advise that victims not pay ransoms to threat actors

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News

Mobily CFO reiterates tower deal options with Zain Saudi Arabia

Mobily chief financial officer, Khaled Abanami has confirmed the mobile operator is examining three options with fellow Saudi cellco, Zain with respect to combining and extracting value from their combined tower assets in the Kingdom.

Omantel extends managed services deal with Ericsson

Omantel has renewed and expanded its managed services agreement with Ericsson for a further five years, with the renewed agreement being more outcome-based and customer-centric.

MTN Group CEO opts to depart after expiry of fixed contract

South Africa-headquartered MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter will step down from his role at the end of his fixed four-year contract in March 2021, having given no explanation why he would not seek to stay on beyond that date.

Nokia CEO, Rajeev Suri to step down as vendor considers its options

Nokia CEO and president, Rajeev Suri, is set to step down from his position later this year, to be replaced by Pekka Lundmark, currently CEO and president of energy company Fortum. The move comes as Nokia struggles to keep pace with the global shift to 5G.

Batelco introduces 5G roaming with du in the UAE

Following Zain Group’s regional milestone announcement in November 2019 that its operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had successfully launched the first 5G roaming service across the MENA region, Bahrain telco Batelco has announced partnering with the UAE’s du to deliver 5G international roaming services in the UAE.

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