Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei all get a piece of $650m Mobily network upgrade gig

Saudi Arabian operator Mobily has recruited a dream team of networking vendors to upgrade its mobile network over the next three years.

Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei are all getting a piece of the action, although it has not been disclosed how the three fierce competitors are going to coexist during the project. The total amount Mobily (otherwise known as Etihad Etisalat) expects to shell out for the project is SAR 2.4 billion (~$650 million), for which it doesn’t expect to need fresh debt.

“This agreement comes in line with 2030 Kingdom Vision and its objectives that focus on developing telecom & IT sector,” said Mobily CEO Ahmed Aboudoma, as reported by the Saudi Gazette. “Moreover, it will allow Mobily to provide the best services to its customers that comply with its new strategy ‘RISE’ in which its objectives revolve around boosting up the level of provided services by using the latest telecom technologies.

“Mobily’s current network has a competitive performance among the sector. The new agreement will contribute in raising network performance significantly to allow Mobily customers enjoy unprecedented services. The agreement discussions lasted more than 6 months to ensure adding plans comply with telecom technology rapid developments, in addition to adapting future technologies within an efficient contractual framework.”

This marks an interesting twist in the intense competition for Middle Eastern business between the big kit vendors. Ericsson recently won some digital transformation business from Zain Kuwait that Huawei is said to have been hoping for. Saudi Arabia is the biggest country and economy in the region and it is committed to reducing its economic reliance on oil though the 2030 Vision programme.

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