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Press Release -- November 7th, 2013
Source: Huawei

Zain Kuwait and Huawei Confirm Plans to Launch Commercial LTE-Advanced Network

LTE-Advanced networks offer the promise of superfast mobile data speeds of up to 300 Mb/s with high bandwidth and compatibility with existing nationwide LTE networks

[London, UK , November 07, 2013]: At the Global Mobile Broadband Forum currently taking place in London, Zain Kuwait, the leading telecommunications provider in Kuwait, in collaboration with technology partner Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, jointly announced plans to launch a commercial LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in Kuwait.

Zain’s next-generation wireless broadband network will eventually deliver speeds of up to 300 Mb/s, which is around twice the speed currently possible with existing LTE mobile networks. The rollout will see Zain Kuwait and Huawei activate over 100 LTE-A cell sites during a first phase, with Zain Kuwait indicating that the technology will later be made available across the country as more sites become operational.

LTE-A is predicted to become the future mainstream of wireless communications following initial rollouts of LTE services throughout the Middle East. LTE-A expands and enhances standard LTE platforms, allowing flexible and effective spectrum utilization and simpler network architecture; it also empowers operators to provide better mobile services, high-performance applications and multimedia services to its customers like video conferencing, high-definition content sharing, high-speed video downloads and more.

“The deployment of this milestone commercial LTE-A network will jump start the next phase of mobile communications in the Middle East, providing mobile broadband customers across Kuwait an opportunity to enjoy unparalleled communication services,” said Omar Al Omar, CEO of Zain Kuwait. “The trend towards mobile computing – along with the proliferation of social and video applications – has led to an explosion in mobile data traffic, bringing unprecedented challenges to mobile broadband networks. We recognize LTE-A technology as the way forward as Zain looks to underpin future network capacity requirements and enhance our customers’ experience.”

Kuwait is experiencing high levels of market saturation in its telecom sector, with an estimated mobile penetration rate of nearly 215% according to Business Monitor International. Zain is currently a leader in the field of mobile broadband with a market share of around 39% in Kuwait with nearly 10% of its mobile customers having already migrated to 4G LTE. This number is expected to rise sharply in the coming months as more and more users are provided access to the opportunities offered by LTE-Advanced technology.

“New innovations in mobile broadband are increasingly shaping the future of Kuwait’s telecom market, and more importantly, these technologies are now seen as major enablers of continued economic and social development supporting the government’s vision for a knowledge-based economy,” said Mr. Mohamad Sharara, Head of Zain Key Account at Huawei. “Huawei is committed to extending our partnership with Zain to bring ground-breaking mobile broadband services to customers across the Middle East, and we will continue to focus our efforts on leveraging the transformative potential of ICT to drive development, productivity and growth in the countries we operate in.”

The core technologies of the LTE-A platform that Huawei has deployed for Zain Kuwait include Carrier Aggregation (CA), which allows for full utilization of spectrum resources scattered across multiple frequency bands. Besides enabling high bandwidth, CA ensures backwards compatibility with LTE to facilitate a smooth and seamless migration.

Last year, Zain collaborated with Huawei to launch a commercial LTE network that delivers nationwide mobile coverage and is to date the country’s only nationwide LTE network. At the same time, Zain partnered with Huawei to provide the public with diversified LTE smart devices including smartphones, routers, hotspot MiFi and dongles. Earlier this year, Zain and Huawei also formalized an agreement to create a Joint Innovation Center in Kuwait to focus on LTE-based solutions for enterprises, machine-to-machine services and other service-based applications.

As a global leader in LTE technology innovation, Huawei invests heavily in LTE-related research and development to stay ahead of the cutting edge in carrier technologies. According to the GSA’s “Evolution to LTE” report released in August 2013, 443 operators are investing in LTE and 200 commercial LTE networks are in operation. Of these, Huawei won 196 commercial LTE network contracts and deployed 93 commercial LTE networks worldwide, accounting for 40% of awarded LTE network contracts; more than any other vendor globally.

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