Tareq Amin to aid Saudi digitalisation in new role

Rakuten Mobile CTO Tareq Amin

Rakuten Mobile CTO Tareq Amin

  • Tareq Amin made an abrupt exit from Rakuten Mobile in early August
  • Since then there has been much speculation about where he might surface next 
  • Amin has now shared, via social media, that he will be involved in the ‘digital revolution’ underway in Saudi Arabia
  • It’s not yet clear exactly what his role will be or for which organisation he will be working

Ever since Tareq Amin stepped down as chief of Japanese mobile operator Rakuten Mobile and its vendor offshoot Rakuten Symphony in early August, people in the telecom sector have been debating where he’ll crop up next. Now Amin has provided some insight into his next role via a laconic update on his X (formerly Twitter) account about his next move, and it’s all to do with the digital transformation of Saudi Arabia.

In a tweet posted late on Friday (13 October), Amin announced his “next mission” involves “contributing to the incredible push for a digital revolution in Saudi Arabia”. He added: “I’m thrilled to lend my expertise and passion to help shape a cutting-edge digital society. Let’s come together, harness technology, and create a future full of boundless possibilities!”

As of yet, how exactly Amin will put his experience into practice, and for which company, remains unclear, though TelecomTV’s industry sources suggest it will be for neither the Saudi government nor one of the country’s telcos, such as STC Group. 

Amin left Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony in August, and at the time the company cited “personal reasons” for the move, while Amin explained the decision was taken following “considerable reflection and deliberation” – see Tareq Amin has left Rakuten.

The departure of Amin from Rakuten was notable and impactful, not just for the Japanese company but for the emerging yet faltering Open RAN sector, for which Amin had long been one of the main flag-wavers.

He had joined Rakuten in 2018 as CTO of the Japanese mobile operator, having been a driving force at Indian telco Reliance Jio, where he played a role in the buildout of the latter’s greenfield 4G LTE network.

Industry analysts suggested in August that his sudden departure left the Japanese operator, which has been struggling to grow its subscriber base in a highly competitive market, with an even harder task to make headway with its domestic mobile operations and become a sizeable Open RAN and telco cloud provider on the global stage via its Symphony division. 

Soon after his departure, Rakuten Symphony also lost its CEO in North America, Azita Arvani – see What’s up with… SK Telecom & Netflix, Singtel, satellite 5G.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.