BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey and RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 3 /PRNewswire/ --

- Verizon Business to Provide Exclusive Management and Operational Support

A consortium that includes Verizon Business has been awarded a license to provide public, fixed-line telecommunications services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new network will help support the Kingdom's fast-growing demand for voice and data services for consumer and business customers.

The Optical Communications Company ("OCC") consortium's application for license was approved by the Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers and was officially announced and signed by royal decree by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The OCC consortium, which is backed by a group of prominent Saudi investors, will receive management and operational support through an exclusive management services agreement with Verizon Business. It will be responsible for providing, hosting and managing both business and residential voice and data services.

Zuhair Ali Azhar, one of the key founders and initiators of the project, said in a recent statement: "We believe that the OCC consortium, supported by Verizon Business' extensive professional service experience, is ideally suited to help achieve the vision set out by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the largest markets for residential and corporate telecommunications services in the Middle East, and is currently pursuing an expansive national Information Technology plan to support the national economy. As part of this, it is committed to developing a multibillion-dollar, state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure. The OCC consortium will help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia realize this aim."

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was looking for a premier communications partner with the global network expertise to help it enter the information society," said Carl Roberts, Verizon Business vice president of professional services -- international. "Verizon Business' reputation as a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology solutions to

large- business and government customers worldwide was a key factor in the award of the license. The OCC, with Verizon Business' support, is well-suited to support the Kingdom as it implements this next phase of its ongoing infrastructure enhancement plan."

About Verizon Business

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large-business and government customers worldwide. Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. For more information, visit

Web site:

Jo Perrin of Verizon Business, +44-770-252-5868,