Nokia Networks posts MEA firsts in deal to modernize, expand Zain’s network
Nokia Networks signed a large contract with Zain KSA to modernize and expand the operator’s network in a program called RELOAD. With this contract, Nokia Networks and Zain achieve many key milestones in the Saudi market as well as the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, partnering to provide a superior mobile broadband experience.
To address the growing demand for high-speed and innovative data services in preparation for the Hajj pilgrimage in November, Nokia Networks will deploy not only its compact Single RAN Advanced* to refarm part of Zain KSA’s 2G and 3G frequencies, but also its innovative Flexi Zone** small cells for ultra-fast 4G, its LTE Advanced services, and NetAct for monitoring, managing and optimizing Zain KSA’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Furthermore, Nokia’s new energy-saving Flexi Compact Base Stations will be installed to reduce operating costs.
Nokia Networks will also deploy its Liquid Applications, an industry-first distributed cloud solution, which is enabled by its Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS). This will provide Zain KSA with enhanced 4G throughput and backhauling savings, and will put it into a postion to deliver customized applications such as augmented reality and location-based services due to its exposure to real-time network data.
Hassan Kabbani, CEO of Zain KSA, said: “We want to reload our network infrastructure with the very latest of technologies in order to address the high demand for more interesting services. We are confident that Nokia’s unique technologies such as Liquid Applications will greatly improve customer experience and position Zain KSA as a technology leader in the Saudi market.”
Igor Leprince, Senior Vice President & Head of MEA, Nokia Networks, said: “This huge project exemplifies the strong partnership we have developed over the years and will result in Zain KSA’s network being one of the best in the region.”
Nokia Networks will also deploy its indoor building solution along with its advanced 4G Small Cells to enhance mobile broadband coverage for Zain KSA’s subscribers inside offices, malls, hotels and residential buildings.
In another MEA-first, Nokia Networks will refarm the existing 2100 MHz spectrums, in addition to 1800 MHz band, to enable Zain KSA to expand its LTE services offering. Since spectrum is a limited resource, refarming will provide huge cost benefits for Zain when launching LTE services. Nokia Networks will also provide carrier aggregation capabilites, combining both the existing spectrum bands of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the network capacity, speed and coverage for LTE services. This carrier aggregation of FDD-LTE spectrum bands is also another first for MEA region.
Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, Zain KSA’s acting Chief Technical Officer, said: “Since its launch in the Saudi market, Zain KSA has worked relentlessly on improving its network, and providing it with the latest in the world of telecommunications. With the increased adoption of smart devices, and increasing demand on ultra-fast 4G mobile broadband services in mind, we believe that our long-term partnership with Nokia Networks, with its state-of-the-art multi-radio technologies and services, will maximize our network resources so we can roll out cost-efficient 4G services.”
Samer Qablawi, Head of Zain KSA customer team, Nokia Networks, said: “We are committed to helping Zain KSA carry out its ambitious network modernization and expansion program. Our best-in-class technology and services expertise will ensure the highest network quality possible at a lower cost for the operator.”
In addition, Nokia Networks will provide its Global Services including Network Planning and Optimization, Network Implementation and System Integration, competence development as well as hardware and software care to ensure smooth operations and high network quality.
For more information on Nokia Networks’ mobile broadband capabilities, including a video overview, follow this link. To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion with @NSNtweets on Twitter using #mobilebroadband and #LTE. For expert insights, visit our blog
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Zain KSA – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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