Saudi Telecom Co and landline firm Atheeb sign network deal

DUBAI, June 5 Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:34am EDT

DUBAI, June 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Etihad Atheeb said on Thursday it had signed a deal to use Saudi Telecom Co's (STC) fibre network, days after the landline operator scrapped a similar agreement with Mobily .

The so-called Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU) agreement gives Atheeb access to 30,000 STC data connections for 15 years. There is an option for Atheeb, which uses the brand name GO, to buy extra rights to increase this to 100,000 connections, according to a statement to Riyadh's bourse.

"These ports will be used by GO to serve their clients with broadband Internet services and fixed voice services to both residential and small businesses," Atheeb's statement said.

"This agreement will enable GO to enhance its competitive edge in the vital broadband market through expanding its coverage area and diversify its offering to the market."

Loss-making Atheeb scrapped an earlier IRU with Mobily, citing "technical and logistical difficulties", which led Mobily on Monday to warn its second-quarter profit would be cut by 338.7 million riyals. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Mark Potter)

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