Another recognition for Zain Iraq: Designated as Middle East Operator of the Year at annual CommsMEA Awards

Another recognition for Zain Iraq: Designated as Middle East Operator of the Year at annual CommsMEA Awards


A panel of judges applaud Zain Iraq's technical development, network coverage, and inspirational support of Iraq's people and economy

Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, is proud to announce the award of the Middle East Operator of the Year accolade to its operation in Iraq at a gala awards ceremony hosted by CommsMEA in Dubai last week. This award marks a special period for Zain Iraq as just last month it was also awarded the Telecom Operator of the Year accolade at the prestigious Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2013. CommsMEA is a highly respected online and print telecom publication with circulation across the Middle East and Africa, and its annual awards ceremony identifies some of the best performing telecom companies and individuals from within the region over the past 12 months. The black-tie gala ceremony was attended by regional and international industry figures. On announcing the accolade, the five-team independent judging panel of CommsMEA noted, "Zain Iraq is an exemplary telecom operator in the professional manner in which it conducts itself, and the contribution it continues to make to the telecom sector in Iraq, as well as to the wider economy in the country. We were impressed by the KPIs the company continues to announce, making it a market-leading operator serving over 14.5 million customers, reflecting a 48% market share. Its exceptional network covers 97% of Iraq's population, with Zain having invested over US$4.5 billion in Iraq since commencing its operations in 2003. We applaud these impressive developments and achievements made by the company, and believe it is a most worthy winner of the Middle East Operator of the Year 2013 award." Also, the judges noted, "Zain Iraq's wide-ranging educational, health and cultural programs are all indicative of a company acting with sound sustainability and corporate social responsibility values, which we further recognize and congratulate." Zain Iraq Chairman, Mohammed Charchafchi commented on the award: "We appreciate this recognition and remain wholeheartedly committed to contributing positively to our sector and the wider economy in Iraq. Zain is one with the people of Iraq, and any success we enjoy in the country is directly linked to the people there, be it our 14.5 million customers or our 3,000 staff. We share this award with them." Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said: "Zain Iraq is in the final stages of its preparation for a stock market listing in 2014, which will result in more Iraqis gaining ownership of the largest and most dynamic mobile operator serving their country. Zain Group will continue to support the local management team whose solid track record is marked by sustained revenue growth and improving profitability over the years, maintaining Zain's market leadership in Iraq. We believe our team in Iraq is most deserving of this award and we wish them continued success." Wael Ghanayem, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Zain Iraq, added: "It is enormously gratifying to witness the impact of our business on the economic and social development of so many Iraqis on a daily basis. Our numerous sustainable and corporate social responsibility programs across the country are just as important to Zain as are our commercial activities, and being identified as Middle East Operator of the Year is an added bonus." Zain employs over 3,000 highly trained Iraqi nationals directly, though the number of Iraqis drawing an income as a result of Zain's operations is estimated at many multiples of that number. Zain's modern network infrastructure, which has recently been expanded to the northern region, is 3G-ready nationwide, and as soon as authorities provide the necessary spectrum the operator will be in the position to introduce the service immediately. The company believes there is huge pent-up potential for Zain Iraq, driven by strong macroeconomic fundamentals, especially in the mobile data segment.