Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is planning to spend SAR3.9 billion (USD1.04 billion) on enhancing its networks in the second half of 2015, STC’s chief executive Khaled al-Biyari told Reuters. The outlay mirrors STC ‘s capital expenditure in the first six months of 2015, while also bringing full-year CAPEX to a four-year peak. ‘STC is continuing to invest in both mobile and fixed [networks] and modernising our IT systems – we want to ensure our network is second to none … The growth in data traffic we’re experiencing is unmatched … which is putting stress on the network.’
Biyari also confirmed that STC’s 35%-owned subsidiary Oger Telecom was seeking to sell its majority holding in South African mobile operator Cell C. ‘Optimising the portfolio is something that is at the top of my agenda,’ said Biyari. ‘We want to ensure our investment portfolio brings in value.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2015 it emerged that Oger was planning to divest its stake in Cell C, though the valuation of the cellco and its current debt were cited as the main issues blocking Oger’s exit from the company. TeleGeography notes that in January 2015 Oger’s parent STC wrote down a ZAR1.2 billion (USD102 million) investment in Oger Telecom, attributing the impairment to its investment in Cell C.