Spectrum refarming enables 4G in Jeddah

A major Saudi operator is launching a 4G network in the kingdom’s second largest city. Zain KSA has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to deploy LTE mobile broadband infrastructure in Jeddah. The operator aims to address the growing demand for mobile broadband and smartphone data services by refarming its 1800 MHz GSM frequency band to offer 4G services.

“The upsurge in smartphone usage is putting a huge pressure on networks, while also increasing customers’ service expectations,” said Ahmed Al Ghanmi, deputy chief technology officer at Zain KSA. “We are confident that this engagement will help us offer a superior 4G experience at a fast pace.”

“Spectrum refarming is becoming a huge trend across the world, primarily since spectrum is a limited resource, and refarming offers huge cost benefits,” added Dany Choueiry, customer team head at Nokia Siemens Networks.

The deployment will use NSN’s Single RAN (radio access network) platform, which is based on its Flexi Multiradio base station. In addition, the firm will upgrade and expand Zain’s legacy Home Location Register (HLR) to the One NDS subscriber data management solution, which will allow Zain to cover capacity requirements as well as save on operational expenditure.

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