Zain Kuwait seeks regional lead in NFV with 3-year Huawei deal

Zain Kuwait moved to be the first mobile operator in the region to deploy network functions virtualisation (NFV), through a deal with Chinese infrastructure supplier Huawei.

The operator and equipment vendor announced the deal over the weekend. According to a press release published on, Zain Kuwait will utilise Huawei NFV systems covering cloud-based data centres, virtualised evolved packet cores, a virtual IMS core network, SDM hardware and software, and test suites.

Huawei also agreed to provide Zain Kuwait with managed services covering the set-up and operation of the NFV kit for three years, the news service reported.

In their statement, the partners noted that NFV is still a relatively new concept in the Middle East, and stated that Zain Kuwait will be the first operator in the region to utilise NFV on a live network.

The operator aims to deliver a mobile service that is more dynamic, flexible and efficient, the statement revealed.

Mohamad Sharara, head of Zain Key Account at Huawei, said NFV can enable operators to launch new services in a timely fashion, and that the deal opens the door to deploying NFV at other Zain Group operations in the Middle East.

According to the press release, the Huawei NFV deal forms part of a broader IT transformation strategy being implemented by Zain Kuwait. Over the next 10 years, the operator plans to deploy infrastructure that will enable it to offer cloud data centre services, along with a broader number of digital services.

Omar Al Omar, CEO of Zain Kuwait, hinted that Huawei would play a key role in that network evolution, noting that the Chinese vendor's "breadth of solutions and managed services" would be an important factor in the operator's strategy.

Research company Technology Business Research last month forecast that global spending on NFV and software defined networking (SDN) would grow at a CAGR of 113.8 per cent from 2014 through 2020 to hit nearly $157 billion (€142 billion). However, the company tipped operators in the U.S. and Europe to fuel the bulk (75 per cent) of that growth.

For more:
- read the press release on

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