STC tower subsidiary enters Pakistan through acquisition

STC tower subsidiary enters Pakistan through acquisition

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STC subsidiary Tawal has acquired Pakistani towerco Awal Telecom for an undisclosed sum.

Although still subject to local regulatory approval the deal marks Tawal's entry into the Pakistani market and will see Awal – which operates in the country’s northwest – rebranded as TAWAL Pakistan.

Olayan Alwetaid, CEO of stc Group said: “We are very pleased of Tawal's entry into Pakistan market as one of stc Group subsidiaries. Tawal is looking forward to fruitful partnerships with the country’s mobile network operators and meeting the demand for robust telecommunications infrastructure there."

Alwetaid went on to hint that similar deals could be signed for other markets.

He added: "We believe that Tawal is in a strong position to extend its footprint outside Saudi Arabia and are exploring opportunities in key markets regionally and globally.”

Figures published by Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) last year confirmed more than 181 million mobile subscribers in the country and Tawal said mobile voice and mobile broadband subscriptions have seen double-digit growth in recent years. However, Tawal also said Pakistan currently has fewer than 40,000 tower sites, " implying significant build potential over the next several years".

TAWAL owns a portfolio of more than 15,500 telecom towers across Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Alhakbani, CEO of TAWAL said. “Pakistan is an exciting market with high growth potential, and TAWAL is looking forward to extending our digital transformation and ICT infrastructure development capabilities to the country. The country is witnessing growing mobile service penetration, which is creating infrastructural demand that TAWAL is ideally placed to address.

"We are excited about adding the AWAL team to our international operations under the TAWAL umbrella and laying the groundwork for further global expansion.”

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