Zain launches 5G roaming service in MENA between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

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Zain Group, the mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa has launched first 5G roaming service in across the MENA region, with download speeds reaching as high as 500 Mbps for both outbound and inbound roaming.

Zain has been one of the most ambitious 5G operators in the region, with its operation in Kuwait announcing the commercialization of the service in May, and Zain Saudi Arabia following in October with the launch of what was and remains the largest 5G network deployment in the region, and third largest in the world.

Zain Kuwait and Zain Saudi Arabia between them count over 550 4G and 3G roaming agreements in over 215 countries, with this latest milestone 5G roaming agreement opening countless opportunities to further enhance the mobile experience for Zain customers as they travel the world, and as 5G becomes more widespread with the advent of more 5G devices.

Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, and Vice-Chairman of Zain Saudi Arabia commented, “This momentous stride taken on our 5G journey reinforces our global position at the forefront of the implementation of this exciting technology. It is through the vision and support of the country’s leadership in markets such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia that we can make such rapid progress in this nascent area, and in turn expedite our 5G roll out in support of both the New Kuwait 2035 Vision and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

Al-Kharafi continued, “Empowering nations and improving the customer experience is something that Zain is passionate about, and with the advent of 5G we see a whole new world of opportunities to achieve this. We are transforming into a digital lifestyle provider and are confident that our early investment in 5G will help us consolidate this position and drive us to even greater heights.”

The roaming agreement between Zain Kuwait and Saudi Arabia sets the ground for further 5G roaming agreements within the Zain Group and beyond. Zain’s pioneering approach to 5G means as soon as compatible devices begin to ship in commercial numbers the mobile operator’s networks will be ready and capable to provide 5G services to customers immediately.

Al Kharafi concluded, “The launch of 5G roaming reconfirms our success in achieving greater integration, extracting synergies and expertise between our key regional operations.”

Zain joins a very select few operators globally to have tested and introduced international 5G roaming and remains the only one to establish 5G roaming between two countries in the MENA region.