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This is one of a series of digital-operator profiles analyzing the digital strategies of leading global operators. It details partnerships and acquisitions, internal structures, and “digital” service offerings.


  • Zain is on its way to becoming a true digital service provider. Since it set up its digital-services business unit, Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) in 2014, Zain has been continuously evolving its digital strategy. It has renovated its brand logo and its current structure has digital areas ingrained in each of the group's operations and services.
  • Zain has been investing in a selection of digital services that complement its traditional voice and connectivity services, to offset the decline in traditional voice revenues. Zain is investing in several new areas such as smart home and connected car, but focusing on areas such as video, enterprise, cloud, security, IoT, and gaming.
  • Zain’s approach to capturing value from the whole digital service ecosystem enables it to add value where it is most able to. It develops services in-house, partners with companies to develop and launch services, and invests in startups and mature companies in the digital service ecosystem to incubate services and/or realize a financial return.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the importance of digital services for Zain Group.
  • Evaluates Zain's digital strategy.

Key questions answered

  • What are the drivers for digital services in Zain's key markets?
  • What are Zain's short-term and long-term goals for digital development?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Regional footprint

  • Markets
  • Financial position
  • Brand
  • Market dynamics

Digital strategy

  • Zain places digital services at the heart of corporate strategy
  • Zain's digital strategy guides M&A, service launches, and partnerships

Digital service development

  • Bringing innovative content and services to Zain’s customers
  • Reshaping its network and processes to bring a digital way of working to the core of the organization for cost optimization
  • Bringing in new sources of revenue is supported by digital service activity across verticals

Digital strategy results

  • Non-SMS data revenue on the rise

Digital activities and prospects

  • Zain active in following its digital strategy


  • Author

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