Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Nokia and Zain KSA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on developing 5G and define a clear path toward building the next-generation ultra-broadband networks in Saudi Arabia. The companies will combine their expertise to develop use cases, requirements and deployment scenarios for 5G technologies. The MoU was signed at Mobile World Congress 2017 by Peter Kaliaropoulos, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Saudi Arabia and Ashish Chowdhary, Chief Customer Operations Officer of Nokia.

The ultra-low latency and high reliability of 5G technology will enable connectivity for billions of devices in IoT. IoT use cases including connected mobility, industrial networking, smart factories and offices, remote healthcare, virtual reality and Ultra High Definition video services will help many sectors grow exponentially. While Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia already started working together to transform Jeddah into a smart city, further collaboration through the new agreement will take that to the next level towards smart, safe and sustainable cities across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Peter Kaliaropoulos of Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “Zain and Nokia have been closely working together for over a decade and have achieved many MEA- and Saudi-firsts* in our joint endeavor to bring innovative mobile broadband services and world-class customer experience to the Kingdom. With this MoU, we are now taking this strong partnership to the next level, evolving toward building the next-generation 5G networks. We are confident again that in this journey we will mark many more industry-firsts, which will enable us to play our role in the digital transformation of the country toward the knowledge based economy.”

Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer at Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “Working with our partner Nokia, we aim to provide the next generation ultra-broadband services. This agreement will take us closer to providing commercial 5G network in the Saudi market by introducing 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies to Zain’s network during the course of 2017. According to telecom experts, 5G networks will not only provide faster internet speeds, but also enable new applications such as IoT broadcast-like services and lifeline critical communications in times of natural disaster.”

Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia Customer Team at Nokia, said: “Nokia fully understands Zain’s priorities and is committed to bringing the latest mobile broadband technologies to Saudi Arabia through market-leading trials and deployments such as 4.5G Pro, 4.9G, DFCA**, multi-band carrier aggregation and the re-farming of the 900 MHz band. Our continued collaboration with Zain will modernize its network toward 5G, building the foundation for IoT and smart cities in the Kingdom.”

Key aspects of MoU

  • Nokia will collaborate with Zain KSA to evolve the operator’s network toward 5G by introducing 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies in Saudi Arabia, and support the National Transformation Plan 2020.
  • The companies will:
    • Jointly carry out trials of Nokia’s advanced technologies including AirScale, which is the radio platform in Nokia’s 5G FIRST, transport network technologies, analytics and Cloud RAN using AirFrame data center solution.
    • Showcase 5G use cases including the industrial robotics and machine-to-machine critical communications in Zain Innovation Lab.
    • Trial end-to-end 5G use cases during Hajj 2019 in live networks