Zain has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) to build its 5G network in Bahrain, with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019. Spanning Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G Core products and solutions, Zain Bahrain aims to enhance the digital lives of people, enterprises and industries in the country via its 5G network.
Under the contract, Zain Bahrain’s network will be modernized from LTE to 5G. Ericsson is providing 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, including Massive MIMO solutions. Ericsson is also providing Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and Voice over LTE solutions. The solutions will upgrade Zain’s existing mobile networks and introduce the latest 5G technologies across the country.
Ericsson’s 5G portfolio will enable Zain Bahrain to expand coverage while simultaneously strengthening its current network. Ericsson’s high-speed and low-latency 5G technology will help Zain to meet growing data traffic demands and deliver high-quality mobile broadband and fixed wireless experiences.
Zain Bahrain Chairman, His Excellency Shaikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Khalifa, says: “This agreement marks a major milestone for both companies. Zain Bahrain is excited about the new strategic partnership with Ericsson to support, expand and speed up the deployment of the Kingdom 5G network. Zain Bahrain’s ability to provide the latest 5G revolution services comes under the continuos commitment to invest in Zain’s digitalization strategy to empower Zain Bahrain customers with solutions and services that are at the forefront of our digital future.”
His Excellency adds: “5G is expected to be the connectivity infrastructure that will foster industrial and societal transformation. It is about a network infrastructure that is easy and can be used for all sorts of different and personalized usages. It could unlock the full capabilities of the latest technology trends and become an innovation platform and an opportunity for Zain Bahrain to provide specialized network services to a series of new industry partners: from the automotive, to health to energy sectors.”
Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East & Africa, says: “5G promises to accelerate the digitization of industries, presenting new opportunities and enabling service providers to launch the most advanced technologies while improving the end-user experience with faster speeds and lower latency. The deployment of these technologies will enable Zain Bahrain to meet the rapidly evolving demands of consumers and accelerate deployment of new use cases and innovative services for their enterprise and industry customers.”
The 5G-ready radio access and core network infrastructure rollout strengthens the collaboration between Ericsson and Zain Bahrain. In addition to improving operational efficiency, it also enhances network capabilities for IoT applications and other potential future services.
Ericsson now has more than 70 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique communication service providers, of which 22 are live networks.