Saudi ICT infrastructure firm Tawal is making a full acquisition of Pakistani tower company AWAL Telecom from its shareholders.
Tawal is a subsidiary of STC Group, and the acquisition marks its first foray outside Saudi Arabia, and an initial step in its international expansion roadmap. Subject to regulatory approval from the Pakistani authorities, the deal will see AWAL rebranded as Tawal Pakistan. A fully licensed operation by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, AWAL is largely focused on the country’s northwest region.
Mohammed Alhakbani, Chief Executive Officer, Tawal said: “Tawal is anticipating extending its digital transformation and ICT infrastructure development capabilities. [Pakistan] is witnessing growing mobile service penetration, creating infrastructural demand that Tawal will address.”
Pakistan has four major mobile network operators serving around 238 million customers. The country is the fifth most populous in the world after China, India, America and Indonesia. With over 189 million cellular subscribers, 108 million-plus 3G/4G subscribers, mobile voice and broadband subscriptions, Pakistan has seen double-digit growth in recent years. The expansion of 4G/LTE and 5G networks is expected to drive the market’s revenue growth. Currently there are fewer than 40,000 tower sites.
Tawal has over 15,500 telecom towers in Saudia and operates under the Communications and Information Technology Commission license-2019, providing infrastructure wholesale services.