The Massive MIMO trial will pave the way for 5G rollout in the Kingdom

Nokia and Zain KSA have launched a Massive MIMO trial in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, which aims to deliver download speeds of up to 700Mbps.

The trial uses spectrum in the 2.6GHz range over Zain’s LTE network and will utilise Nokia’s 5G ready AirScale Massive MIMO antenna for 4.9G calls.

"We are thrilled and proud to be carrying out this prestigious project for Zain. This successful pilot and later deployment will allow Zain to delight its customers with extreme broadband. It will also add to their revenue streams as they will be able to provide newer services to their subscribers," said Ali Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia.

Once the trial is completed, Zain will look to rollout the services across the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is hoping to be among the first countries in the world to rollout fully commercialised 5G services, later this year. Massive MIMO technology will play a key role in the smooth rollout of next generation mobile networks.  

"This pilot is a significant milestone in our journey towards 5G. The deployment of massive MIMO helps us meet our customers’ evolving needs for the best experience even while using multiple bandwidth-hungry applications. As our longstanding partner, we are confident that Nokia’s proven expertise will allow us to provide innovative use cases to Zain KSA’s individual and enterprise customers," said Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia.

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