Saudi Arabia, Technology

Saudi telco deploys ‘region’s largest’ 5G network

Bader Al Kharafi, Zain KSA, 5G network
Bader Al Kharafi, Zain KSA

Zain Group has announced that it has launched 5G commercial services in Saudi Arabia, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities in the Kingdom.

The announcement follows the launch of 5G services in Kuwait and is the largest 5G network deployment in the region to date. It will be followed by a gradual expansion of the network to cover a total of 26 Saudi cities utilising 2,600 towers by the end of 2019.

5G is regarded as a major global breakthrough in the field of digital technology, and its implementation in Saudi Arabia is expected to contribute towards realising the digital transformation goals specified in the Saudi Vision 2030.

Bader Al Kharafi, Zain vice chairman and group CEO Vice Chairman and Group CEO, and Zain KSA Vice Chairman, said, “5G will bring substantial change for the Kingdom’s telecom industry, creating new business models and unlocking opportunities for many sectors such as financial, ICT, agricultural, tourism, entertainment, automotive, health, education and public sectors, to name a few. The technology is also expected to contribute significantly to the country’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs.”

According to Al Kharafi, Zain KSA will continue to enhance its services and launch innovative offerings that guarantee satisfaction for its 8.3 million customers. “We are keen to offer 5G services to all business and individual clients through various service packages at competitive rates,” he said.

He added, “We remain committed to invest further in infrastructure and develop our services to be on par with global digital technology advancements and offer remarkable new services to support the 5G network’s capabilities and coverage.”

5G will allow customers to utilise advanced digital solutions and technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, Automated System Operations, 3D printing, and robotics, in addition to enabling them to enjoy their preferred entertainment content and video games with ease.

In addition, 5G services will provide a great research opportunity for students and professionals in the artificial intelligence and virtual reality disciplines, as well as opening up new fronts for advancing various Big Data services in the Kingdom including IoT and smart services such as self-driving vehicles and smart city grids. Additionally, issuing electronic visas and other similar Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies including IoT and digital payments will be accessible through the upgraded network.

Zain KSA highlighted that it is eager to support the Kingdom’s mega government initiatives and projects that are the result of an ambitious Saudi vision to position the Kingdom as a digital and innovation pioneer. Zain KSA has also recently inaugurated its 5G network at the Neom Bay Airport, an area regarded as Saudi Arabia’s futuristic gateway.

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