Zain Group, a leading telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces a strategic investment in neXgen Group, a leading smart city advisory and consulting services provider based in the UAE. The investment will lead to the establishment of a specialized business unit delivering smart city services to governments and mega real estate developers facilitating the deployment of smart city solutions and managed services across Zain’s regional footprint.
The investment in neXgen Group was announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at a signing ceremony attended by Zain Group Chairman Asaad Al Banwan, Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer, neXgen MD Ghazi Atallah, senior executives from Zain and neXgen, as well as industry figures and international media. The agreement comes exactly twelve-months after a strategic cooperation partnership was announced between the two entities.
Both Zain and neXgen hold strong opinions that the power of mobile internet is a driving factor to unlocking the potential of how people live their lives and transforming how they conduct their business. The companies are in agreement that with the confluence of Smart Technologies and Services, the Internet of Things and the power of data, smart city developments will enhance the lives of millions of people across the region.
The newly established business unit will focus on delivering smart city solutions and managed services and will include design and integration for applications including smart living in city districts, smart safety and security, smart education and health, and smart metering for the utility sector among others.
Commenting on the strategic investment, Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer said, “The cooperation with neXgen over the past twelve months has been an eye-opener for Zain in identifying and better understanding the requirements needed to maximize the substantial opportunities that we believe exist in the smart city space across our footprint.”
Gegenheimer continued, “This strategic investment and establishment of a new dedicated smart city and managed services unit creates value for both entities, as it combines Zain’s capital strength and expertise as a digital communications provider with neXgen’s competence in smart city technology and services.”
Ghazi Atallah, MD of neXgen Group commented, “Today neXgen is at the forefront of smart city expertise and thought leadership across the region. Through this partnership with Zain and the creation of a specialized business unit, we are confident in our ability to deliver unique offerings that address the growing demand in the market for smart city solutions and managed services. This business unit is set to unlock many lucrative opportunities in the connected society revolution, placing both Zain and neXgen as leaders in this space.”
The concept of smart cities relates to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to enhance performance and well-being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with citizens. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple transactional relationship with its citizens.
Zain’s investment in neXgen Group builds on the establishment of the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business unit, which is charged with launching Zain into the digital space with the view to growing the company through new innovative business streams that add to Zain’s customer service offerings. ZDFI focuses on the areas of innovation; digital services; corporate venturing; and smart cities.