Mobily (Etihad Etisalat Company), a leading telecom operator in Saudi Arabia, has taken another major initiative* to accelerate the expansion and modernization of its 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks between 2014 and 2016. To this effect, Khalid Al-Kaf, CEO of Mobily, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia Solutions and Networks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
As per the MoU, NSN will facilitate an additional long term export credit of $280m with Finnvera, Finnish Export Credit (FEC), and lenders Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale. This credit will help Mobily purchase advanced solutions and services from the world’s specialist in mobile broadband, NSN.
Khalid AI-Kaf, CEO, Mobily, said: “With the increased adoption of smart devices, the demand for superior quality, high speed data services is growing from our customers. To address this demand, we are accelerating expansion and upgrading of our 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks with the latest technology available in the industry by investing additional $280m over the next 24 months. This accelerated network infrastructure expansion and upgrade using NSN’s advanced solutions and services will help us further improve voice and data service experience for our customers in the country.”
Igor Leprince, head of Middle East & Africa business region at NSN, said: “The fact that we are able to arrange an export credit facility to Mobily for the second time within a year, reaching a total amount of $605m by 2014, is reflecting our commitment to help the operator to fully address the growing demand from its customers. The close relationship we have with Mobily enables us to understand its needs and provide the right support at all levels.”
Topi Vesteri, Executive Vice President of Finnvera, said: “We look forward to contributing with our credit enhancement of highest credit quality to the success of Mobily and NSN in the growing Saudi Arabian telecom market. The current arrangement will increase the largest transaction Finnvera and FEC is supporting in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in the Middle East. We highly appreciate the close cooperation with Mobily, NSN and the lenders throughout the process.”
The Finnish export credit agency Finnvera and its subsidiary Finnish Export Credit (FEC) have issued their guarantee and financing offers. Mobily has mandated Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale to structure and arrange for Shariah Compliant financing, for which the services of Latham & Watkins as legal counsel to Mobily, and Allen & Overy as legal counsel to lenders have been sought.