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Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, and Zain, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in 8 markets across the Middle East and North Africa, have announced the successful launch of a commercial LTE 1800 MHz network that covers the entire country of Kuwait. The network is the largest of its kind in the region and marks a major step for the development of the region’s mobile broadband market.
Zain and Huawei expanded their LTE partnership after the successful deployment of GSM and UMTS networks in Kuwait. On November 21, Zain launched LTE services under the banner of “Wiyana Connect LTE”. The newly-built LTE network supports CSFB (circuit switched fallback) technology for voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. Download speeds in the field have now been shown to exceed 90 Mbps.
The new LTE network enables a wide variety of high-performance mobile applications and multimedia including video conferencing, high-definition content transmissions, high-speed video downloads, and social networking platforms. These seamless mobile services, made possible by both the existing GSM/UMTS and new LTE networks, provide Zain’s subscribers with an unparalleled mobile broadband experience.
Zain has also partnered with Huawei to provide diversified LTE smart devices, including smart phones, routers, hotspot MiFi and dongles. Zain and Huawei’s partnership also includes agreements on various series of products, solutions, and services for terminal, radio access, core network operation and management.
Mr. Omar Al Omar, Zain Kuwait CEO, said: “We are building a world class mobile network in Kuwait with GSM, UMTS, and LTE access to offer our customers an enormous coverage and speed improvement. We have selected Huawei as long-term strategic partner. We believe that Huawei's innovative solutions and rich commercial experience will enable our customers to enjoy an incomparable mobile broadband experience.”
Huawei has provided Zain with its cutting-edge SingleRAN solution capable of converging GSM, HSPA+, and LTE standards into a single network. This simplifies overall network structure while reducing TCO and expended manpower requirements. Huawei’s SingleOSS suite also helps realize exceptional improvements in whole-network O&M efficiency.
Mr. Shi Yaohong, President of Huawei Middle East, said: “Our successful wireless partnership with Zain for GSM, UMTS, and now LTE demonstrates the effectiveness of Huawei’s SingleRAN solution in helping operators manage the challenges of operating multiple networks and while meeting growing mobile broadband demands. We are committed to being the best business partner possible for our customers worldwide, and will remain focused on customer-centric innovation to do this.”
In addition to the current LTE agreement, Zain Kuwait and Huawei have partnered on numerous occasions over the past several years including a 2011 agreement for Managed Services as Huawei contributes to cost improvements, efficiency and reliability of the operator’s network. Today Huawei remains a Managed Services provider to Zain Kuwait and has successfully increased the operator’s physical network capacity; allowing it to handle many more users and services in the future.
To date, Huawei has secured 130 commercial LTE/EPC contracts and has launched 56 commercial LTE networks with leading global operators; more than any other infrastructure provider. With a global business footprint in six continents, Huawei is driving LTE development and commercialization worldwide.