Saudi Arabian operator Zain KSA is preparing to refarm its 1800-MHz spectrum to offer 4G services in Jeddah, the country’s second-largest city.
The carrier has hired Nokia Siemens Networks to handle the upgrade and to manage the 4G network alongside Zain KSA’s current 2G and 3G infrastructure. It is improving the network in response to growing demand for mobile broadband services, which is fueled by rising smartphone penetration.
Ahmed AlGhanmi, deputy chief technology officer at Zain KSA, explains the carrier chose to upgrade to ensure speedy deployment of its 4G network. “The upsurge in smartphone usage is putting a huge pressure on networks, while also increasing customer’s service expectations,” he notes.
NSN customer team head Dany Choueiry adds that spectrum refarming “is becoming a huge trend across the world, primarily since spectrum is a limited resource and refarming offers huge cost benefits.”