Mobilk - Zain Kuwait and Huawei—a leading global ICT solutions provider—have unveiled plans for a new strategic cooperation that will see the two companies trial and implement 4.5G services on Zain Kuwait’s network over the next three years. The agreement marks one of the world’s first joint planning frameworks between a telecom operator and an ICT vendor to develop 4.5G services.
This announcement follows a memorandum of understanding that was penciled between Zain Group and Huawei during this week’s Mobile World Congress to facilitate the implementation of 4.5G across Zain’s footprint over the next three years.
Over the last several years the deployment of 4G mobile broadband networks worldwide has facilitated a new era of high-speed telecom services for individuals and businesses. The Middle East has been particularly active in this regard with Zain offering 4G services across five key markets.
The concept of 4.5G marks the mobile industry’s perpetual advancement. Today 4.5G definitions are largely based on standards and patents that are still under development. The transition to 4.5G is being considered as a stepping stone to fully-fledged 5th Generation (5G) mobile services expected commercially in 2020, capable of supporting 1,000-fold gains in network capacity.
The latest memorandum will see Zain Kuwait initially pilot new solutions with Huawei using 4.5G standards including radio access networks and network virtualization architecture. Several of Zain’s operations will ultimately seek to implement commercial 4.5G services within the next three years based on technology standards developed on the global level.
Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said, “Over the years Zain has remained at the forefront of mobile innovation partnering with leaders in the ICT field to push the boundaries of what is possible for our customers. Our strategic partnership with Huawei has seen a successful track record of implementing state-of-the-art technologies across our footprint and we look forward to the future in offering our customers even better, faster and more seamless mobile digital experiences.”
Omar Al Omar, Zain Kuwait CEO said, “As the largest operator in the country offering nationwide 4G services, we recognize that to meet our customers’ ever-increasing demand for data, we need to continually invest in network upgrades for the future prosperity of the company and the wider economy at large. Cooperating with Huawei in the piloting of, and eventual roll-out of 4.5G services, will ensure that Zain Kuwait remains at the forefront of technology, providing our customers with a superior telecom experience.”
Wang Tao, President of Huawei Wireless Networking Business Unit said, “Mobile services powered by 4.5G technologies will spearhead the next revolution for the communications industry by enabling users to freely connect with each other, share content at high speeds, and enjoy more inspired communication experiences anytime, anywhere. Building on our longstanding cooperation with Zain, Huawei is committed to delivering cutting-edge products and solutions to help Zain smoothly evolve to a future of endless mobile possibilities.”
Experts believe that the application of 4.5G technologies will offer the public faster speeds, lower latency and better functionality than the best 4G technologies currently available. It will also open up new revenue streams for operators resulting in a healthier and more profitable mobile broadband business.
Zain has made substantial investments over the last three years in harnessing the speed of mobile broadband for its customers. It was the first service provider to offer 4G LTE services in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan and has even established an Innovation Center with Huawei in Kuwait to serve as a research hub for the advancement of future mobile broadband services and applications.
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