Zain successfully trials HSPA+ in a live 3G network
Date: Tue, 05/19/2009 - 18:35
Zain Saudi Arabia can now enter the mobile broadband business, offering its subscribers a superior end user experience at a minimal cost outlay. Paving the way for an all-IP flat architecture network of the future, the operator has realized significantly improved data throughput speeds in a recently concluded trial. Nokia Siemens Networks, the operator’s turnkey network supplier implemented an Internet-HSPA (I-HSPA) software upgrade within Zain’s existing radio access network to deliver the benefits.
“We want to be the first to unleash the true potential of the Internet on users’ handsets,” said Eng.Ismail Fekri,COO, Zain Saudi Arabia. “However, we realized early that if we went head long into it, we could run into problems of heavy data usage and insufficient network resources. That is why we decided to test the solution first – in a live network environment and not a lab set-up. We now have full faith in the efficacy of the Internet-HSPA solution presented by Nokia Siemens Networks and are looking forward to a quick commercial deployment.”
The trial introduced a simple, flat architecture demonstrating how traffic can bypass the Radio Network Controller (RNC) and the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN), to deliver improved data transmission speeds. Because of the re-routing, there is no need to build in additional capacity, in effect reducing the OPEX and CAPEX. Moreover, with flat architecture the operator is well prepared for the eventual move to Long Term Evolution (LTE). I-HSPA solution also shortens the network latency rates to 45ms enabling quicker response times and enhances the overall user experience availability of data services
“The trial is a definite milestone for us. Working in a live environment not only meant customization of existing network elements, but ensuring there was no outage during testing,” said Ahmad Othman, Head of “Zain Group” Customer Business Team at Nokia Siemens Networks. “We delivered on this and more, proving the simplicity and superiority of our solution. We are now looking forward to working with Zain to translate the benefits of this test to real commercial use, i.e. improving mobile broadband end user experience.”
Nokia Siemens Networks is the leading provider of mobile broadband solutions and a driver of related standardization. I-HSPA innovation by Nokia Siemens Networks introduces a flat network architecture to the WCDMA world and enables cost-efficient scaling of the network with rapidly growing data traffic volumes. As part of HSPA+, the standardized I-HSPA works with all WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ devices and improves end user experience by reducing latency. I-HSPA flat network architecture also enables smooth migration to LTE.
Zain is a leading emerging markets player in the field of telecommunications aiming to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by 2011. Today it is the 4th largest mobile network in the world in terms of geographic presence with a commercial presence in 23 countries spread across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to 64.7 million active customers (as at 31 March 2009).
Zain has commercial operations in the following countries: Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Lebanon, the company manages the network on behalf of the government operating as mtc-touch. In Morocco, Zain in a joint venture owns 31% of Wana Telecom.
The company offers innovative services in its markets such as One Network, the world’s first borderless mobile telecommunication network enabling customers to receive and make calls throughout many countries in Africa and the Middle East at free or local rates.