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Axiata Enters Collaboration Agreement with FRiENDi Group Targeting Asian customers in the Middle East

2009-08-05

Kuala Lumpur 5th August,Axiata Group Berhad (formerly known as TM International Berhad) (“Axiata”), entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Dubai-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator (“MVNO”), FRiENDi Group FZ-LLC (“FRiENDi”), with the intention of collaborating to address expatriates working in the markets Axiata and FRiENDi operate in. Amongst the areas of collaboration to be explored is the possibility of setting up co-branding and MVNO relationships between the two Groups. The terms of the Collaboration Agreement will also look at the provision of content and services to this group of people working in the Middle East as well as to their families.

President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata, Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said “Axiata with its pan Asian footprint has a presence in all the targeted countries. The agreement will allow subscribers to reap the benefits of discounted call rates and value added services such as mobile money transfer, remote recharge and content from home. This is aligned to Axiata's broader purpose, that of advancing Asia, offering unmatched, affordable and relevant services to consumers”.

The agreement will also have the added benefit of allowing Axiata access to the lucrative Middle East market with its high influx of foreign workers, currently numbering at more than 13 million. Axiata OpCos will be able to reach out and capture the market and do business with their own nationals who are living overseas.

Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi, Mr. Mikkel Vinter added “Signing the Collaboration Agreement is a mutually beneficial strategic step for both Axiata and FRiENDi as the Agreement will provide FRiENDi preferred partner status with the Axiata subsidiaries across Asia, as well as enable the Axiata mobile operating companies a unique opportunity to engage millions of their nationals that live and work in the geographical region of FRiENDi”.

The first concrete outcome of the Collaboration Agreement is a linkup between Axiata's affiliate in India, Idea Cellular, and the local FRiENDi operation in Oman to provide the customers in Oman and India better and more affordable communication services, which directly translates into family members, separated by a geographical distance, being able to stay closer.

Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim ends “The Collaboration Agreement with FRiENDi make good business sense for Axiata and will provide our mobile operating companies a competitive advantage in their local markets, but even more importantly it will give customers in the countries covered by Axiata and FRiENDi an opportunity to better reach out to their family members living abroad”.

 

About Axiata

 

Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies, focused in high growth low penetration emerging markets. Axiata has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia with significant strategic stakes in India, Singapore and Iran. India and Indonesia are amongst the fastest growing markets in the world. In addition, the Malaysian grown holding company has stakes in non mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand and Pakistan.

The Group's mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom' in Malaysia, ‘XL' in Indonesia, ‘Dialog' in Sri Lanka, ‘AKTEL' in Bangladesh, ‘HELLO' in Cambodia and ‘Idea' in India, ‘M1' in Singapore and ‘MTCE' in Iran (Esfahan).

As of December 2008, The Group's, including its subsidiaries and associates, has over 90 million mobile subscribers in Asia. The Group revenue for 2008 was RM11.3 billion. The Group provides employment to over 25,000 people across Asia. Axiata's vision is to be a regional champion by 2015 by piecing together the best throughout the region in connectivity, technology and people, uniting them towards a single goal: Advancing Asia.

Axiata was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2009 Asia Pacific ICT Award for Best Telecom Group.

About FRiENDi

FRiENDi is an innovative telecommunications company with the corporate vision of offering mobile service pan-regionally across the SAMEA (South Asia, Middle East & Africa) region as a MVNO, which is a proven business model that brings significant benefit to customers, telecom operator partners and the countries where FRiENDi operate.

FRiENDi's management team bring together senior level cross-functional experience from successful regional and global mobile operators and MVNOs, and the company is backed by financially very strong, well respected and experienced shareholders based in the region and abroad.

FRiENDi has its global headquarter in Dubai Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, and has established a number of local operating companies and Joint Ventures across the region, with more to come in the near future.

For more information on FRiENDi, please visit www.friendigroup.com

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