Bahrain among the first countries to rollout 5G network, says minister

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By Nayla Barakat


Manama, Nov. 10 (BNA): Bahrain is among the first countries globally to offer commercial 5G network services and consumers will reap the benefits of this technology in a rapidly changing global telecommunication landscape.


Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, was addressing a ceremony by Zain Bahrain which selected Ericsson to deploy 5G network in the Kingdom. The minister also witnessed the completion of the 1st 5G data session during the event.


“We are pleased to see Zain Bahrain deploying the 5G network and its commitment in adopting the latest technologies and innovation which in turn reflects on the Kingdom’s drive for innovation and reinforces its position as a regional leader in the telecommunications and ICT sector,” he said.


The signing ceremony was attended by the minister, Börje Ekholm, Chief Executive Officer of Ericsson, Shaikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Khalifa Chairman Zain Board, Shaikh Nasser bin Mohammed, Acting General Director of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), and Mohammed Zainalabedin, General Manager of Zain Bahrain.


As the 5G services expected to go live by end of 2019, consumers are set to benefit from a network equipped for next-generation mobile services, boosting digital innovation in Bahrain.


Bridging from a nationwide LTE advanced network to 5G, Zain Bahrain, has selected Ericsson’s market-leading 5G portfolio to deploy a 5G radio network in the Kingdom, allowing Zain to offer enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access while providing Zain customers with a higher speed, responsiveness and reach that could unlock the full capabilities of the latest technology trends such as virtual reality, augmented reality and the internet of things (IoT) for Zain customers.


Under the terms of Zain’s Bahrain strategic agreement with Ericsson, which involves network modernization from LTE to 5G, Ericsson will provide Zain Bahrain with 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, including Massive MIMO solutions as well as the Ericsson Packet Core.


In addition, Zain Bahrain has successfully completed the 5G data session during the event to showcase 5G 360 degrees streaming capabilities with 4K definition.


“This agreement marks a major milestone for both companie,” Shaikh Ahmed said. “Zain Bahrain is excited about the new strategic partnership with Ericsson to support, expand and speed up the deployment of the Kingdom 5G Network.  Zain Bahrain ability to provide the latest 5G revolution services comes under the continous commitment to investing in Zain’s digitalization strategy to empower Zain Bahrain customers with solutions and services that are at the forefront of our digital future.”


5G is the latest technology revolution, every new generation has primarily been defined by its increased data transmission speeds. But from an innovation perspective, each of the modern leaps in wireless network technology has brought distinct change: The second generation (2G) allowed voice transmission, the third generation (3G) opened the door to mobile data and rich content, LTE brought a speed boost that ushered in the app and mobile-streaming revolution.


“5G is expected to be the connectivity infrastructure that will foster the industrial and societal transformation. It is about a network infrastructure that is easy and can be used for all sorts of different and personalized usages. It could unlock the full capabilities of the latest technology trends and become an innovation platform and an opportunity for Zain Bahrain to provide specialized network services to a series of new industry partners: from the automotive, to health to energy sectors,” the Chairman of Zain Board added.


According to Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, 5G promises to accelerate the digitization of industries, presenting new opportunities and enabling service providers to launch the most advanced technologies while improving the end-user experience with faster speeds and lower latency.


Deploying the 5G-ready radio access and core network infrastructure marks a new chapter of collaboration between Ericsson and Zain Bahrain.