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Zain Saudi Arabia and Nokia signed an Memorandum of Understanding to work together on developing 5G and define a clear path toward building the next-generation ultra broadband networks in Saudi Arabia. Both companies will combine their expertise to develop use cases, requirements and deployment scenarios for 5G technologies. The MoU was signed by Zain Saudi Arabia CEO Mr. Peter Kaliaropoulos and Ashish Chowdhary, Nokia’s chief customer operations officer, at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.

The ultra-low latency and high reliability of 5G technology will enable connectivity for billions of devices in IoT. IoT use cases including connected mobility, industrial networking, smart factories and offices, remote healthcare, virtual reality and Ultra High Definition video services will help many sectors grow exponentially. While Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia already started working together to transform Jeddah into a smart city, further collaboration through the new agreement will take that to the next level towards smart, safe and sustainable cities across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 As part of this MoU, Nokia will collaborate with Zain Saudi Arabia to evolve the operator’s network toward 5G by introducing 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies in Saudi Arabia, and support the National Transformation Plan 2020. The companies will also jointly carry out trials of Nokia’s advanced technologies including AirScale, which is the radio platform in Nokia’s 5G FIRST, transport network technologies, analytics and Cloud RAN using AirFrame data center solution. While also Showcasing 5G use cases including the industrial robotics and machine-to-machine critical communications in Zain Innovation Lab. In addition, both companies will trial end-to-end 5G use cases during Hajj 2019 in live networks 

Mr. Peter Kaliaropoulos Zain Saudi Arabia’s CEO, said: "Zain and Nokia have been closely working together for over a decade and have achieved many MEA- and Saudi-firsts in our joint endeavor to bring innovative mobile broadband services and world-class customer experience to the Kingdom. With this MoU, we are now taking this strong partnership to the next level, evolving toward building the next-generation 5G networks. We are confident again that in this journey we will mark many more industry-firsts, which will enable us to play our role in the digital transformation of the country towards the knowledge based economy."

Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia Customer Team at Nokia, said: "Nokia fully understands Zain’s priorities and is committed to bringing the latest mobile broadband technologies to Saudi Arabia through market-leading trials and deployments such as 4.5G Pro, 4.9G, DFCA, multi-band carrier aggregation and the re-farming of the 900 MHz band. Our continued collaboration with Zain will modernize its network toward 5G, building the foundation for IoT and smart cities in the Kingdom."