Saudi Arabian operator Zain announced the rollout of the Kingdom’s first 5G standalone (SA) network in a bid to attract partners with ambitions to develop projects in vertical technologies such as IoT, AI and robotics.
"By deploying the 5G SA core, Zain KSA is paving the way for a new era for 5G use cases and applications, opening up new prospects for the growth of digital services, and empowering individuals and businesses to keep up with the digital transformation in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030," said the operator said in a statement.
The company expects the launch will make Zain KSA the partner of choice for 'Giga projects' in the Kingdom and the provider of highly reliable cutting-edge services, including the IoT, robotics, and artificial intelligence solutions, in addition to machine learning, blockchain, drones, and augmented reality.
"By making the transition to the 5G SA technology, Zain KSA adds a new achievement to its innovation journey that it had inaugurated by rolling out the largest 5G network in the Middle East and Europe," it said.
Zain KSA has already laid the groundwork for this milestone through the horizontal and vertical expansion of its 5G network which currently covers 51 cities across the Kingdom through more than 5,000 towers.
The operator explained through standalone 5G companies will have access to "network slicing" which enables them to benefit from multiple networks at the same time. The network slicing feature will include a range of services, such as "Zain Cloud" services, which will improve the flexibility of user experiences through a network structure that supports future-proof services.
Zain KSA chief executive Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Degaither said: "Deploying the 5G Stand-Alone technology comes within our role of employing innovation to serve the digital future aspirations and equip our subscribers, whether individuals or in the business sector, with the latest technologies and digital innovations that would enhance their experience and support them to develop their businesses in faster, more efficient and reliable ways. By applying this technology across our network throughout the Kingdom, we will take the digital experience to a whole new level.”
Zain has a commercial footprint in seven Middle Eastern and African countries.