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Nokia Networks posts MEA firsts in deal to modernize, expand Zain's network

First Liquid Applications deployment in Zain's commercial network

First refarming of 2100 MHz band for LTE launch

First carrier aggregation of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for improved LTE speed and coverage

First 4x2 Multiple Input and Multiple Output radio technology to enhance data throughput

First LTE small cells deployment to generate additional capacity

25 June 2014

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Nokia Networks today signed a large contract with Zain KSA to modernize and expand the operator's network in a program called RELOAD. With this contract, Nokia Networks and Zain achieve many key milestones in the Saudi market as well as the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, partnering to provide a superior mobile broadband experience.

To address the growing demand for high-speed and innovative data services in preparation for the Hajj pilgrimage in November, Nokia Networks will deploy not only its compact Single RAN Advanced* to refarm part of Zain KSA's 2G and 3G frequencies, but also its innovative Flexi Zone** small cells for ultra-fast 4G, its LTE Advanced services, and NetAct for monitoring, managing and optimizing Zain KSA's 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Furthermore, Nokia's new energy-saving Flexi Compact Base Stations will be installed to reduce operating costs.

Nokia Networks will also deploy its Liquid Applications***, anindustry-first distributed cloud solution, which is enabled by its Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS). This will provide Zain KSA with enhanced 4G throughput and backhauling savings, and will put it into a postion to deliver customized applications such as augmented reality and location-based services due to its exposure to real-time network data.

Hassan Kabbani, CEO of Zain KSA, said: "We want to reload our network infrastructure with the very latest of technologies in order to address the high demand for more interesting services. We are confident that Nokia's unique technologies such as Liquid Applications will greatly improve customer experience and position Zain KSA as a technology leader in the Saudi market."

Igor Leprince, Senior Vice President & Head of MEA, Nokia Networks, said: "This huge project exemplifies the strong partnership we have developed over the years and will result in Zain KSA's network being one of the best in the region."

Nokia Networks will also deploy its indoor building solution along with its advanced 4G Small Cells to enhance mobile broadband coverage for Zain KSA's subscribers inside offices, malls, hotels and residential buildings.

In another MEA-first, Nokia Networks will refarm the existing 2100 MHz spectrums, in addition to 1800 MHz band, to enable Zain KSA to expand its LTE services offering. Since spectrum is a limited resource, refarming will provide huge cost benefits for Zain when launching LTE services. Nokia Networks will also provide carrier aggregation capabilites, combining both the existing spectrum bands of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the network capacity, speed and coverage for LTE services. This carrier aggregation of FDD-LTE spectrum bands is also another first for MEA region.

Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, Zain KSA's acting Chief Technical Officer, said: "Since its launch in the Saudi market, Zain KSA has worked relentlessly on improving its network, and providing it with the latest in the world of telecommunications. With the increased adoption of smart devices, and increasing demand on ultra-fast 4G mobile broadband services in mind, we believe that our long-term partnership with Nokia Networks, with its state-of-the-art multi-radio technologies and services, will maximize our network resources so we can roll out cost-efficient 4G services."

Samer Qablawi, Head of Zain KSA customer team, Nokia Networks, said: "We are committed to helping Zain KSA carry out its ambitious network modernization and expansion program. Our best-in-class technology and services expertise will ensure the highest network quality possible at a lower cost for the operator."

In addition, Nokia Networks will provide its Global Services including Network Planning and Optimization, Network Implementation and System Integration, competence development as well as hardware and software care to ensure smooth operations and high network quality.

For more information on Nokia Networks' mobile broadband capabilities, including a video overview, follow this link. To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion with @NSNtweetson Twitter using #mobilebroadband and #LTE. For expert insights, visit our blog.

About Zain

Zain KSA is the latest player in Saudi Arabia's mobile telecommunications market, having commenced commercial operations in August 2008. As of 30 September 2013, the operation served 8 million customers and had extended its network coverage to 93% of the population via a network of over 5,500 sites. Through its state-of-the-art 4G LTE network, the ever-evolving operator is striving to become the Kingdom's preferred choice for voice, data and other telecommunications services. Through constant development of the telecommunications infrastructure and proactive marketing initiatives, Zain remains committed to offering customers in Saudi Arabia the most dynamic products and services. The basis of Zain Saudi Arabia's achievements lies in the company's ability to inspire its employees to deliver the best and most imaginative services at every level. With an energetic and inspired majority-Saudi workforce, the company is committed to employing high caliber people as well as nurturing the finest Saudi talent. For more on Zain KSA please visit

About Nokia

Nokia invests in technologies important in a world where billions of devices are connected. We are focused on three businesses: network infrastructure software, hardware and services, which we offer through Networks; location intelligence, which we provide through HERE; and advanced technology development and licensing, which we pursue through Technologies. Each of these businesses is a leader in its respective field.

Through Networks, Nokia is the world's specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world's most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly. //

Media Enquiries

Nokia Networks
Kannan K
Press and Social Media Manager
Phone: +91 95388 90288

Media Relations
Phone: +358 7140 02869

Zain KSA
Khalid Abdullah Mohammed
Zain KSA - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Phone: +966 5924 11490


* Nokia's Single RAN Advanced (radio access network advanced) platform is based on the high-capacity, scalable and energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station, recently ranked a leader in capacity and deployment flexibility in analyst company Current Analysis' latest 'LTE eNodeB Assessment' of April 4, 2014. According to the report, Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station outperforms the competition in capacity, deployment flexibility, spectrum coverage and power output. "LTE-Advanced market momentum and product differentiation lend credibility," said Current Analysis in its report summary, noting that Nokia provided a "broader range of supported spectrum bands than other vendors." [The same analyst report also highlighted the company's leadership, with its Liquid Applications being a clear differentiator with its novel approach to optimizing mobile content and applications].

** Nokia's Flexi Zone is an LTE/Wi-Fi-capable cellular solution engineered to increase capacity by providing coordinated underlay networks at street level and indoors, both for public locations and enterprises. Flexi Zone micro/pico base stations support the most common FDD- and TD-LTE frequency bands and have integrated optional Wi-Fi. As demand grows, the base stations can be linked to a Flexi Zone Controller to scale up network capacity almost limitlessly.

*** Nokia's Liquid Applications redefines the mobile broadband experience at the edge of the mobile network. Applications, services and content are brought inside a base station close to the mobile subscriber. The subscriber is thus exposed to real-time network data which provides a fresh and exciting experience that is personal, relevant and local.

Liquid Applications stimulates new opportunities for operators to cooperate with other entities within the connected ecosystem. Operators and third party content can be hosted locally on the base station, with level of service guarantees for priority content such as video, mission-critical data or financial transactions. Liquid Applications has the added capability to apply real-time network data to create innovative services that take advantage of local points of interest, businesses and events.

Liquid Applications is a key component of Nokia's Liquid Broadband portfolio, which also comprises end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) Differentiation and Operator Content Delivery Network. Taken together, this offering provides key capabilities to intelligently deliver personalized services to subscribers.