RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
06 Aug 2012:
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have announced a 5-year agreement worth approximately $280 million to provide comprehensive IT solutions for the Saudi Arabian company.
As the fastest growing telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia, Mobily has experienced an explosion in demand from the growing number of subscribers using mobile devices, and needed to boost its IT capacity and innovation in the market.
The agreement with IBM will provide Mobily with faster, targeted access to new technologies and expertise in order to build a strong infrastructure to keep pace with the company’s business growth. As it gears up for further expansion, Mobily wanted to improve the quality and speed of its operations using IBM best practices, ensuring overall flexibility and scalability.
As part of the agreement, Mobily and IBM will collaborate on future innovation with the help of IBM Research, for example, using IBM’s Spoken Web solution. The basic principle of Spoken Web uses speech to create voice sites using the mobile phone network to establish a spoken version of the internet. The opportunity to collaborate with leading IBM researchers has become a key differentiator for IBM.
The agreement highlights IBM’s continued geographic expansion initiative to strategically increase its presence in key growth markets like Saudi Arabia in support of its global growth strategy. IBM is ramping up its investment across the Middle East and Africa, harnessing the company’s Smarter Planet initiative to help both public and private sector clients do more with fewer resources.
The strategic management of IT remains with Mobily, ensuring continuation of its standards of excellence and cutting-edge architecture, and enabling Mobily to meet the explosion in demand it is seeing from the growing number of subscribers using mobile devices.
"Partnering with one of the largest technology companies in the world offers Mobily a broad portfolio of modern IT solutions that will have a positive impact on our customers in terms of the quality of products and innovative services, in addition to solutions that will enrich their lives. We are pleased to sign with IBM, which has a significant presence in this strategic sector," said Khalid Al Kaf, CEO, Mobily. “The agreement is part of our efforts and vision of transforming Mobily into an integrated telecommunications operator. It also supports the Saudi government’s initiative of creating a knowledge-based community, adopting state of the art services and solutions" Al Kaf added.
The IBM and Mobily relationship is a long standing one, and IBM has implemented several other IT projects for the telecommunications company in recent years.
"Mobile computing is driving increasing demand for IT services in the telecommunications industry," said Takreem El Tohamy, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. "With this agreement, IBM provides Mobily with the robust IT infrastructure and near term innovation to remain a leader in providing their customers with the best technology has to offer."
IBM is involved in a range of key initiatives in Saudi Arabia, including a joint project with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology using innovative membrane technology and solar power to address the shortage of drinking water. In another project, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and IBM are collaborating using the most complex, high performance computing system in the region.
The agreement with Mobily was signed in August 2012.