Zain, the telecommunications company in Kuwait, has tested the Middle East’s first 4.5G mobile broadband technology on its advanced network.
The test, achieved in strategic partnership with Huawei, saw the operator’s network reaching high-speeds of 1 gigabyte per second (1 Gbps).
Serving the largest customer base in the country, Zain expects this latest technology to spearhead the next phase of the mobile evolution by enabling individuals, corporate and government entities to enjoy increasingly faster connected and intelligent services.
Over the last year, 4G LTE network traffic has started to dominate the total traffic consumption worldwide as content streaming, ultra-high definition video and e-commerce tools see customers spending more and more time surfing the mobile world. Zain’s latest testing of the 4.5G mobile broadband technology is a step towards delivering customers faster speeds, lower latency and better functionality than the best 4G technologies currently available.
Commenting on this revolutionary testing, Eaman Al Roudhan, Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer said: “In line with our strategy to place customers at the forefront of our priorities, we were keen on being the first in the region to build the necessary expertise to test this advanced technology and achieve the successful results we saw in preparation to launch it commercially”.
Al Roudhan added: “Earlier this year, we teamed up with Huawei to trial and implement 4.5G services on our network in Kuwait, and we were pleased with the successful results we accomplished today. With the implantation of further tests in the near future, we will be better prepared to launch the 4.5G technology commercially within the next three years as soon as compatible devices are available in the market”.
Furthermore, Al Roudhan elaborated: “Our investments in 4.5G technology—embodied by the latest 1Gbps trial—will provide cutting-edge services not only to consumers but also enterprises and government entities in Kuwait. This also reflects Zain’s strategic aspirations of delivering on a compelling digital lifestyle to its customers”.
Through its strategic partnership with Huawei, Zain is planning to provide new services powered by 4.5G technology, including voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Narrow band IoT machine-to-machine applications.
Li Dafeng, President of Huawei Middle East and Africa commented: “Zain Kuwait continues to invest greatly in new technologies and services as it seeks to surpass its customers’ expectations. Our successful 4.5G trial together with Zain, the first in the region, is a significant milestone for the Middle East’s entire telecommunications industry. Huawei will always serve our customer’s strategy with original solutions, making it possible for local customers to enjoy the benefits of a better connected world.
Dafeng added: “According to Huawei’s latest research, the 4.5G standard represents a necessary bridge between today’s 4G mobile services and our long-term vision for 5G connectivity, which is expected to be commercialized by 2020.”
Zain’s strategy of being a sustainable digital communications company has long focused on the customer experience and using technology to create more value for the customer. The latest 4.5G announcement comes on the back of the recently-concluded Zain Technology Conference 2015 in Bahrain during which Zain’s global partners came together as part of its drive to build a sustainable digital communications company.
Zain and Huawei have been eager to strengthen their strategic partnership in various technological fields to provide customers’ with a superior telecommunications experience. In June 2014, Zain and Huawei launched the first-of-its-kind Joint Innovation Center based in Kuwait, which serves as a research hub from which Zain is able to advance its mobile broadband network, services, and applications offered to customers in Kuwait and across the region.