The Saudi Arabian operator Zain KSA has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as its LTE (4G) mobile broadband infrastructure and services vendor for Jeddah, the country’s second largest city.
The operator aims to address the growing demand for mobile broadband and smartphone data services by refarming its 1800 MHz GSM frequency band to offer 4G services. As part of the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will also manage Zain KSA’s 4G network in Jeddah, in addition to the operator’s existing GSM and 3G networks in the city.
“The upsurge in smartphone usage is putting a huge pressure on networks, while also increasing customers’ service expectations,” said Ahmed AlGhanmi, deputy chief technology officer at Zain KSA. “We share a long standing relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks, and are well aware of the company’s sound expertise and excellent support services in mobile broadband. We are confident that this engagement will help us offer a superior 4G experience at a fast pace.”
“Spectrum refarming is becoming a huge trend across the world, primarily since spectrum is a limited resource, and refarming offers huge cost benefits,” added Dany Choueiry, customer team head at Nokia Siemens Networks. “With this contract, we will provide leading technology and network optimization services to Zain KSA. This will enable the operator to maximize the benefits of existing 1800 MHz GSM band by offering LTE services, making it move well ahead of the curve in a fiercely competitive market environment.”
Nokia Siemens Networks will provide its Single RAN (radio access network) platform, based on the compact, energy efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station for 4G deployment and 3G network modernization. Optimized backhaul will be provided by FlexiPacket Microwave platform.