Zain Bahrain subscribers fast forward to rich, advanced telecom services

Under the region’s first Long Term Evolution (LTE) contract, Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize the operator network and charging system

(PresseBox) ( Manama, Bahrain, )
Zain Bahrain subscribers will soon enjoy faster data downloads and an overall enhanced mobile customer experience. The operator has signed up Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its radio and core network as well as the prepaid charging system and more importantly hasten its trajectory towards the delivery of rich, advanced voice, data and multimedia services. With this upgrade, Nokia Siemens Networks will commence Zain Bahrain's transition to an all-IP flat network architecture, introducing future proof services and technologies such as Internet High Speed Packet Access (I-HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE).

"In today's business, you have to pre-empt what consumers want," said Mohammed Zainalabedin, General Manager, Zain Bahrain. "In the mobile broadband era we need a scalable and versatile platform, Nokia Siemens Networks is providing us with Flexi Base Station, I-HSPA flat architecture, Evolved Packet Core and software upgrade to LTE that answer our needs. This project will not merely create a world class network but indeed, a showcase for the entire group's operations."

Nokia Siemens Networks will replace the existing legacy core network with the latest Mobile Softswitching (MSS) solution. In addition, charging system will be upgraded to the Nokia Siemens Networks prepaid solution, based on charge@once select. This will improve the operator's capability to bring to market innovative services faster than before thus improving customer experience. Essential to ensuring high quality services is also network and service management provided by NetAct and Traffica.

Implementing Flexi Multiradio Base Stations that are capable of supporting WCDMA, HSPA/HSPA+ and LTE via a simple software upgrade; Zain Bahrain will be in a position to launch I-HSPA functionality within the year. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy a full end-to-end offering for LTE, providing LTE radio, Evolved Packet Core for LTE, subscriber data management, network management and services.

Nokia Siemens Networks has one of the world's largest services networks and in addition to implementation it is responsible for the entire project management, network planning & optimization. This leads to a network and services with optimum quality & reliability, that achieve full potential of Nokia Siemens Networks products and minimize required network CAPEX. This increases Zain Bahrain's competitiveness, enhances operations and processes and leads to a faster and higher return on investment.

"This project has been driven by Zain Bharain's short term expansion needs. However, thanks to the investments they make today, they will receive pay off benefits long into the future," added Ahmad Othman, Head of Customer Business Group, at Nokia Siemens Networks. "By implementing our latest base station, mobile softswitching and charging offering, not to mention our comprehensive LTE solution portfolio, Zain Bahrain will be the first in the region to enjoy the advantage to plug and play new advanced services easily and cost efficiently in the Middle East."

About Zain

Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to 64.7 million active customers as at 31 March 2009. In terms of country footprint, Zain is the 3rd largest mobile operator in the world with a commercial presence in 24 countries.

Zain operates 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, Palestine (currently known as Paltel Group), Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Lebanon, the company manages 'mtc-touch' on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain owns 31% of Wana Telecom through a joint venture.

Zain offers innovative services in its markets such as 'One Network', the world's first borderless mobile telecommunications network enabling customers when abroad to receive calls and sms without charge and to make voice and data calls at local rates throughout 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East. This service allows a customer to top up airtime in one's home country or from more than 1,000,000 outlets within Zain's One Network footprint.

The Zain brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Stock ticker: ZAIN). Zain is listed in the Financial Times' Global 500 Index which ranks the world's largest companies based on market capitalization (http://www.ft.com/reports/ft5002008). Zain aims to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by end of the year 2011. For more, please visit www.zain.com or email info@zain.com
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