Zain ropes in Alcatel for first small cells trial
Barcelona, February 14, 2011
Zain Saudi Arabia said it has signed up Alcatel-Lucent, a leader in mobile, fixed, IP and Optics technologies, for the first small cells trial in the kingdom.
Zain Saudi, the Kingdom's third mobile network operator, said through this project, the mobile operator can experience first-hand how small cells effectively address its three main challenges: fill mobile coverage holes, increase the network’s capacity to deal with mounting mobile data traffic and create new, value-added services in a rapid, cost-effective way.
“Zain is the first mobile operator in Saudi Arabia to trial Femto-based small cells, which clearly positions us as an innovator in the mobile broadband space,” said Dr Saad Al Barrak CEO and managing director of Zain Saudi.
“Partnering with Alcatel-Lucent, we want to assess how small cells can help us provide 5-bar mobile coverage to our residential and business customers – even in circumstances where this has traditionally been a challenge, such as in in-building and rural environments,” he noted.
Zain has been looking for ways to increase the coverage of its network without having to invest in expensive macro site deployments.
Additionally, next to covering white zones, Zain wants to continuously improve its customers’ quality of experience - offering them the best-on-the-market mobile data plans with the highest availability and fastest access speeds, as well as the latest and coolest services, he added.
“As part of this project, we are providing Zain with our proven small cells product portfolio which is being commercially deployed around the world,” said Adolfo Hernandez, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s activities in EMEA.
"Alcatel-Lucent’s small cells are plug-and-play and enable the creation and delivery of a new wide range of value-added services through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) - such as location, presence and security," he noted.
"Together with Zain, we look forward to bringing the mobile service experience in Saudi to the next level, smoothly complementing Zain’s existing 3G macro deployments with small cells technology to address the growing demand for crystal-clear wireless voice and high-speed mobile data applications," he added.-TradeArabia News Service