Zain will launch mobile network services in Saudi Arabia in the second half of this year, according to the company’s chief executive Marwan Al Ahmad. The launch had previously been mooted for the first half. Speaking in Riyadh on Tuesday following the signing of financial consultation and IPO management contracts with Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi (Banque Saudi Fransi), the Zain CEO noted that he considered Saudi Arabia an important country for the realisation of the Kuwaiti group’s strategies. Last month Zain Saudi Arabia awarded Nokia Siemens Networks a USD935 million order to build second- and third-generation mobile networks. Zain owns 25% of the new company that agreed to pay USD6.11 billion last year for the kingdom’s third mobile phone licence, to compete with existing operators Saudi Telecom Company and Mobily.