Milestones

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Below you will find our major milestones from 1983, when MTC was established as the first mobile telecommunications company in the region, up until now.

To view the milestones, please click on the plus sign.

Today - 2010

  • 2014

    December 24: Zain Group selects WeDo Technologies’ RAID revenue solution software for its operations in Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq. WeDo Technologies provides an enterprise business software suite which could analyze and identify risks, monitor controls, provide billing assurance and manage forensic investigation compliance.

  • 2013

    December 31: Zain Group's management agreement with the Government of the Republic of Lebanon to manage the mobile telecommunications operator ‘Touch’, is extended for a period of three months commencing on January 1, 2014 and ending on March 31, 2014.

  • 2013

    December 2: Zain Group partners with Ericsson to deploy convergent Charging & Billing in One (CBIO) in Zain’s operations in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

  • 2013

    December 1: Zain Group launches its third annual Zain Technology Conference, which was hosted at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, December 1 to 3, 2013. The three-day event focused on innovating customer experience, attracting 600 participants and 63 global technology partners.

  • 2013

    November 20: Zain Group’s Investor Relations department named as the foremost Investor Relations team in Kuwait at the awards ceremony hosted by the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIR).

  • 2013

    November 6: Zain Group kicks off the Hackathon Challenge, a first of its type regional ‘Direct Operator Billing Developer App’ competition with USD 15,000 up for grabs. (winners were announced at the Zain Technology Conference).

  • 2013

    October 30: Zain Group signs an agreement with SLA Mobile to provide customers with Direct Operator Billing capabilities allowing them to pay for digital goods from a third-party content or service provider by charging the transaction to their mobile phone monthly bill or using their pre-paid credit. Zain’s Direct Operator Billing will be launched in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, first, followed by Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan.

  • 2013

    October 20: Zain Group 2012 Annual Report, titled ‘Believing in the Power of Dreams’, is recognized and rewarded in five prestigious categories, including “Best of International” during the annual ARC Awards ceremony held in New York. To read the report, click here.

  • 2013

    September 30: In a major regional telecommunications development, a GCC-wide telecoms consortium was formed to build a high-bandwidth regional transmission cable system for the region. The system, to be called the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS) – was both conceived and co-promoted by Zain, du, Vodafone and Zajil.

  • 2013

    September 21: Zain Group participated in the EFG Hermes London MENA Conference, which attracted leading global investors with aggregate assets under management in excess of US$ 5 trillion. The event is the largest MENA investor conference in the United Kingdom.

  • 2013

    September 18: Zain Group publishes its second sustainability report, entitled "Dedicated to the Promise of a Wonderful World". To read the report, click here.

  • 2013

    September 9: ‘Al-Khatem’, Zain’s joint stock company in Iraq, holds first Annual General Meeting.

  • 2013

    September 4: ‘Zain and The Beast’ Eid Al-Fitr play wows audiences and critics alike with 18 shows, performing to a total audience of 27,000 appreciative family theater-goers. To watch the play, click here.

  • 2013

    August 26: Zain’s Ramadan ‘Know your Friends’ television commercial ranks number one in UAE. To view the TVC, click here.

  • 2013

    August 2: Zain Group selects eServGlobal to supply mobile money solutions.

  • 2013

    July 31: Zain KSA extends the MFA maturity for 5 years till 31 July 2018.

  • 2013

    July 17: Zain partners with Vodafone Foundation to alleviate the plight of 70,000 refugees in South Sudan.

  • 2013

    June 26: Zain Group enters MoU with Samsung Electronics.

  • 2013

    June 14: Zain Kuwait welcomes number portability into Kuwait and advises all parties that its representatives are ready to accept transfer requests at any of the company’s branches spread across the country in over 75 locations.

  • 2013

    June 4: Zain KSA signs an agreement with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Finance to postpone payments of the government’s entitlements due from the Company for the next seven years. These payments are estimated to add up to SR800 million per year, representing a total amount of SR5.6 billion for the entire period. It was agreed that the postponed installments will be converted into a commercial loan, the first installment due on 1 June 2021.

  • 2013

    April 24: Zain Group signs of a three year US$700 million Revolving Credit Facility to meet the company’s short to medium term funding needs for general corporate purposes.

  • 2013

    April 22: Zain takes advantage of its Vodafone partner agreement, branding the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racing cars and team distinctively with the Zain logo during the ‘Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix’. This opportunity further enhances Zain’s global brand awareness as a worldwide audience views the qualifying session and race.

  • 2013

    April 18: Zain Bahrain launches 4G LTE hi-speed network with world champion Jenson Button.

  • 2013

    April 17: Zain Group holds its postponed extraordinary general assembly approving the company’s request to authorize the Board of Directors to issue bonds and Sukuk not exceeding the maximum legally authorized in Kuwaiti Dinars or other currencies, as well as approving the amendment of the company's capital taking into account changes to the employee stock option (ESOP). Zain also advises that commencing April 15th, 2013, it started distributing approximately KD 195 million (USD 685 million) in cash dividends through the Kuwait Clearing Company–reflecting 50 fils per share to shareholders registered in the records of the company until the date of the General Assembly - which was approved when the company held its AGM on April 7, 2013.

  • 2013

    March 4: Zain Group announces that it will pilot Rich Communications Services (RCS) under the ‘joyn’ initiative launched by the GSM Association, in Zain Kuwait, with other operations to follow.

  • 2013

    February 14: Zain Group announces full-year 2012 financial results. For the 12 months in 2012, Zain Group generates consolidated revenues of USD 4.58 billion (KD 1.28 billion) compared to 2011 consolidated revenues of USD 4.79 billion (KD 1.32 billion). EBITDA for the same period amounts to USD 2.04 billion (KD 570.7 million) reflecting an EBITDA margin of 44.5%. Net Income amounts to USD 902 million (KD 252.1 million), compared to 2011 net income of USD 1.033 billion (KD 284.9 million). Earnings per share for the 12 months stands at USD 0.23 (KD 0.065), compared to USD 0.27 (KD 0.073) in the previous year. Additionally, shareholders equity stands at USD 6.1 billion (KD 1.7 billion). Subsequently, the Board of Directors recommends a cash dividend of USD 0.18 (KD 0.050) per share subject to the Annual General Assembly and regulatory approvals. Zain Group’s consolidated customer base grows by 6% and stood at 42.714 million active customers across all operations at the end of 2012. The Group adds 2.451 million new active customers over the past twelve months.

  • 2013January 21: Zain Group launches Zain eSuccess Social Online Learning Project in partnership with Hamdan Bin Mohammed eUniversity (HBMeU) for online training support.
    • 2013

      January 14: Zain and OSN Partner to bring Premium TV content to customers.

    • 2012

      December 20: Zain Saudi Arabia signs interconnect agreement with Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications.

    • 2012

      December 2: Zain Group appoints Scott Gegenheimer CEO.

    • 2012

      November 20: Zain Kuwait launches its 4G LTE network, the first operator to provide the latest mobile Internet technology nationwide.

    • 2012

      November 7: Zain Group inaugurates its 2nd annual Zain Technology Conference in Dubai, with the participation of more than 39 regional and global telecom solutions providers and partners.

    • 2012

      October 22: Zain Group launches its inaugural Sustainability Report, entitled ‘Growth for a Wonderful World’. Zain is one of the first operators in the region to offer an account of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of its business operations.

    • 2012

      September 3: Zain Group and Vodafone Group enter into a Partner Market agreement that will provide Zain customers with greater support in Vodafone’s global footprint and significantly expand Vodafone’s Partner Market presence in the Middle East.

    • 2012

      June 23: “Touch” becomes the new brand for Lebanon’s mobile provider mtc touch.

    • 2012

      March 14: Zain Group signs an agreement with iPass Inc. to provide customers with global Wi-Fi data roaming services and access to the iPass Mobile Network, the world’s largest commercial Wi-Fi network at local rates.

    • 2012

      March 4: Zain Group partners with Microsoft to bring Windows Phone devices to the MENA region.

    • 2012

      February 13: Zain reported that for the 12 months ended 31 December, 2011, it achieved consolidated revenues of KD 1.32 billion (USD 4.79 billion), an increase of 2 % year-on-year. The company’s consolidated EBITDA increased by 1% to reach KD 600 million (USD 2.174 billion) reflecting an EBITDA margin of 45.4%. Consolidated net income reached KD 285 million (USD 1.033 billion), representing a 1% increase compared to 2010, excluding the capital gain of KD 770.4 million (USD 2.653 billion) from the sale of Zain Africa.

       

      The consolidated customer base grew by 8% in the 12 months ended 31 December 2011, and stood at 40.2 million active customers across all our operations.

    • 2011

      December 6: For the second consecutive year, leading online ranking agency King Worldwide Digital ranked Zain’s corporate website, www.zain.com, no. 1 in the telecom industry across the MENA region.

    • 2011

      November 29: For the third time in the space of six years Zain was awarded the prestigious ‘Best Overall Middle East and Africa Mobile Operator’ at the annual CommsMEA Awards 2011.

    • 2011

      November 23: Zain entered into a strategic USD 650 million five-year network outsourcing and optimization agreement with Ericsson in Iraq.

    • 2011

      November 2: Lebanon’s mtc touch launched high-speed Internet 3.9G HSPA+ services, contributing to the country’s economic and social well-being.

    • 2011

      September 14: Zain Saudi Arabia became the first mobile network operator in the Middle East (and one of the first in the world) to commercially launch a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network.

    • 2011

      June 7: Zain won the 2011 Global Telecoms Business Magazine Innovations award for the successful launch and implementation of its Zain E-mal service in Jordan.

    • 2011

      June 1: Zain Kuwait launched ‘Drive Zain’, a humanitarian multimedia awareness and action campaign, to highlight the dangers of using mobile phones while driving.

    • 2011

      March 23: Zain Iraq announced the expansion of its voice and data services to the governorates of the Kurdistan region.

    • 2011

      March 5: Zain Jordan officially launched high-speed Zain Broadband services using the latest HSPA+ technology.

    • 2011

      March 3: Zain Group announced record results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2010. The results reflected spectacular growth in several key performance indicators, resulting in a consolidated net profit of USD 3.675 billion, the highest ever in Zain’s history and a record in the private sector of Kuwait. This net profit amount is inclusive of the capital gain of KD 770.3 million (USD 2.653 billion) from the sale of Zain Africa assets on 8 June 2010. If the capital gain from the Africa assets sale was not taken in account, net income would have reached KD 293 million (USD 1.022 billion) for the year, representing a notable 50% increase on 2009 net income.

    • 2011

      March 1: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, led a group of financial institutions in financing a landmark USD 400 million, seven-year debt facility for Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile phone operator.

    • 2011

      February 13: Zain’s ‘UNRWA 60 Years - It’s a Wonderful Life’ 60-second TV commercial supporting Palestinian refugees, won three prizes – Best Production, Best Director and Best Soundtrack – at the ‘MENA Cristal Awards’. To view the film visit: www.youtube.com/zain.

    • 2011

      January 30: Mobile commerce came to the Middle East with the launch of Zain E-mal mobile wallet in Jordan.

    • 2011

      January 30: Zain won the TelecomFinance Middle East and Africa ‘Deal of the Year’ award for the sale of its Africa assets to Bharti Airtel in June, 2010 for USD 10.7 billion. It was the first ever ‘Deal of the Year’ nominee to win by unanimous votes from all judges.

    2010 - 2005

    • 2010

      December 13: Zain’s corporate website, www.zain.com, was awarded the Best Corporate Website in the GCC Webranking survey of the largest 80 leading companies by market capitalization, conducted by Hallvarsson & Halvarsson’s (H&H), the leading online corporate communications agency.

    • 2010

      October 6: For the second year in a row, Zain won the prestigious award for the ‘Best Brand’ at the 4th Annual Telecoms World Awards, Middle East.

    • 2010

      June 13: Zain and UNRWA signed a cooperation agreement to support UNRWA’s health and education projects. It is the first-ever partnership of its kind to take place between the UN humanitarian organization and a private sector company.

    • 2010

      June 8: Zain announced that it had satisfied all required conditions precedent to closing of the sale of 100% of Zain Africa BV (Zain Africa) to Bharti Airtel Limited for USD 10.7 billion on an enterprise basis.

    • 2010

      April 1: Zain Group announced consolidated financial results for the twelve months ending 31 December, 2009 recording healthy consolidated revenues of KD 2.318 billion (USD 8.056 billion), representing an increase of 15.7% compared to the 12 months of 2008. Consolidated EBITDA increased by 24% for the same period to KD 926 million (USD 3.215 billion) with EBIT rising 33% to KD 505 million (USD 1.752 billion). Consolidated net income reached KD 195 million (USD 675 million), a decrease of 39%.

       

      Year-on-year customer growth on the two continents across which Zain operates was 14%, with Zain ending the period with a base of 72.5 million managed active customers as of 31 December, 2009.

    • 2010

      March 30: Zain signed definitive agreements for the sale of 100% of Zain Africa BV, its African business excluding its operations in Morocco and Sudan (Zain Africa), to Bharti Airtel Limited, for an enterprise value of USD 10.7 billion.

    • 2010

      March 23: Zain and Ericsson commissioned and published a report highlighting how mobile communications create jobs, generate wealth and save lives in Sudan.

    • 2010

      February 16: Zain won the inaugural GSM Association 2010 ‘Mobile Money for the Unbanked Service’ award for ‘Zap’, its mobile commerce service.

    • 2010

      February 14: Mr. Nabeel Bin Salamah was appointed Chief Executive of the Zain Group, effective 14 February 2010. This followed the resignation of Dr. Saad Al Barrak on 4 February 2010.

    • 2010

      January 25: Zain and Palestine Communications Group (Paltel) launched the ‘One Network’ service between Jordan and Palestine.

    • 2009

      May 11: Zain launched high-speed data access on the ‘One Network’ platform to pioneer cross-border local GRX-based data access, ensuring faster Internet, email and other data services without roaming surcharges.

    • 2009

      March 20: Zain launched Zain Create, allowing customers to download Rotana’s digital entertainment content.

    • 2009

      March 14: Zain, in a 50/50 partnership with Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding (‘Al Ajial’), agreed to invest an amount of MAD 2.850 billion (USD 324 million) through a newly established joint venture ‘Zain Al Ajial’ in return for 31% of Wana Corporate SA (‘Inwi’), the third mobile telecom operator in Morocco.

    • 2009

      March 1: Zain Group announced its consolidated financial results for the year ending 31 December 2008 with consolidated revenues of USD 7.44 billion, an increase of 26% compared to 2007. The company’s consolidated EBITDA increased by 15% for the same period to USD 2.78 billion. Consolidated net profits reached USD 1.2 billion, an increase of 6% on 2007.

       

      Year-on-year customer growth across the two continents in which Zain operated was 50% with the Zain Group serving 63.54 million managed active customers at 31 December 2008.

    • 2009

      February 16: Zain launched Zap, the most comprehensive mobile banking service in East Africa and later rolled it out to the other African operations.

    • 2008

      December 15: Zain commenced commercial services in Ghana with the launch of the first 3.5G network on the continent outside South Africa. USD 420 million was invested in network infrastructure.

    • 2008

      September 20: Zain successfully completed its capital increase raising USD 4.49 billion (KD1.2 billion) with 99% of all shareholders subscribing. This was the largest ever capital raising in Kuwait’s history. The proceeds of this capital increase were used to finance strategic expansion and meet financial commitments.

    • 2008

      August 26: Zain announced the launch of commercial services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which joined and connected to the Group’s renowned ‘One Network’ borderless mobile service.

    • 2008

      August 1: Zain Group’s entire African operations rebranded from Celtel to Zain. The move coincided with the linking of the world’s first borderless mobile service ‘One Network’ across two continents.

    • 2008

      April 14: Zain achieved another first by bringing its groundbreaking borderless ‘One Network’ mobile service to four countries in the Middle East, allowing traveling Zain’s customers in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and Sudan to be part of a pan-Middle East mobile community. The service provided these customers with the opportunity to communicate between these countries and be treated as local customers in terms of pricing, while using their home network service outside of their physical home network.

    • 2008

      January 30: Zain announced that in the fiscal year 2007 it recorded the highest ever net profits in the history of Kuwait's private sector. Zain recorded consolidated revenues of KD 1.677 billion (USD 5.91 billion) for 2007, an increase of 32% compared to 2006. Consolidated EBITDA increased by 25% compared to 2006 reaching KD 725.34 million (USD 2.56 billion). Zain also announced a milestone consolidated net income of KD 320.45 million (USD 1.130 billion), an increase of 11% on 2006.

      Active customer numbers reached 42.4 million (inclusive of 3 million Iraqna customers, acquired on 31 December, 2007), an overall increase of 57% on 2006.

    • 2008

      January 5: MTC Atheer and Iraqna merge and were rebranded to Zain. Zain in Iraq became the fifth Group operation to rebrand.

    • 2007

      December 1: Zain concluded a binding agreement for the purchase of 100% of the share capital of Iraqna Company for Mobile Phone Services Ltd. (‘Iraqna’), a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding for USD 1.2 billion. This acquisition consolidated MTC-Atheer’s market-leading position in Iraq giving rise to a combined base of more than 7 million customers.

    • 2007

      November 22: Zain’s subsidiary Celtel International extended ‘One Network’, the world’s first borderless mobile network in Africa to an additional six countries, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan. These countries joined the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in the network. The extension of this technological break-through offered the possibility for nearly half of Africa’s population to make calls at local rates across 12 countries throughout the continent.

    • 2007

      October 22: Zain’s subsidiary, Celtel International, signed an agreement to acquire 75% of Western Telesystems Ltd (Westel) from the Government of Ghana for USD 120 million. The Government of Ghana remained a shareholder in Westel with a 25% holding through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

    • 2007

      September 8: Operations in Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and Sudan rebrand to Zain, which became the Group's master brand.

    • 2007

      August 17: MTC Atheer secured 15-year nationwide Iraq mobile license for USD 1.25 billion.

    • 2007

      July 7: MTC Consortium receives official notification to establish 3rd mobile operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    • 2007

      March 24: The MTC-led consortium was successful in making the highest bid for the third mobile telecommunications license in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia having bid SAR 22.91 billion (USD 6.109 billion).

    • 2007

      January 30: MTC launched ACE, an implementation strategy to realize the target of the 3x3x3 vision. ACE sought to extract superior value from existing assets through three main thrusts: Accelerating the growth in Africa; Consolidating the existing assets; and Expanding into adjacent markets.

    • 2006

      December 31: MTC Group full-year consolidated revenues reached KD 1.21 billion (USD 4.167 billion) for the 12 months ended 31 December 2006, an increase of 109% over the same period in 2005. Consolidated net income amounted to KD 305.3.06 million (USD 1.051 billion), an increase of 65% compared to the same period in 2005.

    • 2006

      December 13: MTC raised USD 1.2 billion in Murahaba facility from 29 leading international financial institutions.

    • 2006

      September 27: MTC subsidiary Celtel International, the leading pan-African mobile telecommunications operator launched ‘One Network’, the first ever borderless mobile network in the world allowing customers to move freely across geographic borders without roaming call surcharges and without having to pay to receive incoming calls.

    • 2006

      July 27: MTC signed the general syndication agreement for a USD 4 billion credit facility that will be used to fund MTC’s future acquisitions and general corporate needs.

    • 2006

      May 31: MTC subsidiary Celtel acquired a 65% controlling stake in Vmobile, one of Nigeria’s leading mobile telecom operators with over 5 million customers for USD 1.005 billion.

    • 2006

      May 21: MTC was the first operator in the region to launch 3.5G (HSDPA) commercially in Bahrain.

    • 2006

      February 15: MTC launched a first-of-its-kind research report ‘Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in the Arab World’. The report included ground-breaking research on the impact of mobile phones from the perspective of economists, financial analysts, consultants, academics and journalists and comprised data from nine surveys conducted in seven Arab countries.

    • 2006

      February 6: MTC subsidiary Celtel International acquired the remaining 61% of Mobitel in Sudan from Sudatel in deal valued at USD 1.332 billion, taking ownership to 100%.

    2005 - 2000

    • 2005

      December 13: MTC subsidiary Celtel International acquired Madacom, an operator based in Madagascar with over 200,000 customers.

    • 2005

      November 16: MTC completed 100% capital increase through rights issue raising USD 2.3 billion to fund future expansion.

    • 2005

      May: MTCcompleted the acquisition of 85% of Celtel International shares for USD 2.84 billion.

    • 2005

      March: MTC entered the groundbreaking agreement to acquire Celtel Africa for USD 3.36 billion.

    • 2004

      April: MTC awarded a management agreement for one of Lebanon’s mobile operations. The operation is branded mtc touch.

    • 2003

      December: MTC's Bahraini operation  was the first to launch 3G nationwide in the region

    • 2003

      April: MTC awarded the second GSM license in Bahrain. The operation is branded MTC Vodafone.

    • 2003

      January: MTC acquired 91.5% of Fastlink - Jordan’s leading mobile operator for USD 424 million taking its overall holding to 96.5%.

    • 2002

      September: MTC entered into abranding agreement with Vodafone in Kuwait, with the operation branded MTC-Vodafone.

    • 2001

      The Government of Kuwait reduces its stake in MTC from 49% to 25%.

    2000 - 1995

    • 2000

      The mobile market in Kuwait is opened up to competition with the entrance of a second mobile operator.

    • 1999

      MTC is amongst the first mobile operators in the region to introduce prepaid services.

    1995 - 1990

    • 1994

      GSM technology was introduced in Kuwait, which becomes one of the first countries in the region to do so.

    1990 - 1985

    • 1986

      Extended Total Access Communications System (ETACS) technology was introduced in Kuwait.

    1985 - 1980

    • 1983
      MTC was established as the first mobile telecom company in the region.


    A Wonderful World