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During LEAP 2024, Telecom Review conducted an exclusive interview with Eng. Saad Al-Sadhan, Zain KSA’s Chief Business and Wholesale Officer. The interview focused on Zain KSA's efforts and initiatives in driving the digital transformation of business clients, their approach to tackling cyber threats, and their strategy for ongoing success and expansion in the market.

Zain KSA's Digital Advancements in Client Empowerment

Zain KSA places a strategic focus on customer-centricity and the preparation for the next phase of connectivity through advanced technologies like 5G and its next-generation network, 5.5G. Eng. Al-Sadhan stated, “Zain KSA is at the forefront of pioneering tomorrow's connectivity solutions. Our steadfast commitment to expanding 5G capabilities emanates from our strategy to serve diverse customer needs, including individuals, businesses, and government entities. Achieving 99% coverage of the Kingdom's residential areas by the end of 2023 marks a significant milestone in Zain KSA’s journey towards shaping a digitally empowered future for all.”

Looking ahead, the business world is eagerly anticipating the evolution to 5.5G networks, the next step in the advancement of connectivity towards Industry 4.0. According to Eng. Al Sadhan, customers now expect a seamless interaction with applications. “Through our strategic initiatives, we've deployed a cutting-edge, fully automated digital ecosystem that seamlessly integrates across all layers of our telecom operations, spanning management, commerce, marketing, and customer engagement. Currently, we are preparing to announce the launch of our private 5G solution, a crucial milestone in the ongoing 5G evolution and transition towards a digital economy,” he added.

Zain KSA leverages its strong and sophisticated infrastructure to deliver cutting-edge use cases and applications for the enterprise sector, all designed to address specific pain points and tailor solutions to meet the needs of this growing market.

Sustainability-first Initiatives

Sustainability stands as a cornerstone for Zain KSA. During LEAP 2024, Zain KSA particularly emphasized the role of digitalization in driving sustainability across the Kingdom.

Al-Sadhan underscored Zain KSA’s pivotal role and unwavering dedication to promoting sustainability, combating climate change, and championing state-of-the-art clean energy solutions. Demonstrating its commitment to leveraging technology for sustainability, Zain KSA has spearheaded several projects aimed at safeguarding the environment for future generations. Turning to green networks, Zain KSA introduced the world's first zero-emission 5G network at the Six Senses Desert Dunes resort in the Red Sea, in collaboration with the Red Sea Global company (RSG). This groundbreaking solar-powered network featuring eco-friendly towers that blend in with the serene background aligns with three key objectives: environmental conservation, reduction of emissions through the utilization of clean energy, and minimizing visual distortion. Building on a robust Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy, Zain KSA has placed strong emphasis on deploying advanced animal tracking technology in one of the natural reserves, emphasizing its commitment to responsible growth that balances the well-being of people and the conservation of the planet.

Furthermore, Al-Sadhan discussed Zain KSA’s innovative 'net-zero building' solutions, emphasizing their approach of monitoring existing structures to identify optimization opportunities and enhance energy efficiency. “Our initiatives in the field of smart urban development prioritize optimizing power consumption, aligning seamlessly with the company’s unwavering commitment to introducing avant-garde solutions that foster environmental stewardship and propel technological advancement within the telecommunications industry.”

Ensuring Cloud Security

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's sweeping digital transformation, Zain KSA is spearheading the localization of technology. A key aspect of this initiative is the launch of hyper-scale data centers, as part of the pioneering Shareek private sector partnership reinforcement program.

Zain KSA is currently investing in cloud development, recognizing the increasing demand for cloud-based solutions and solidifying the company's dedication to enhancing the Kingdom's digital infrastructure and localizing technology. “Cybersecurity is a top concern for cloud customers everywhere,” Eng. Al-Sadhan emphasized. “That's why at Zain Cloud, we adhere to industry-leading practices and local regulations to ensure a secure cyberspace for our subscribers on a locally based cloud. With top-tier cybersecurity risk management in place, our customers can confidently focus on their business operations, assured that their data remains safeguarded.”

Through collaborations with the local authorities, including the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) and the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST), Zain KSA ensures its infrastructure and cloud offerings are always compliant with local regulations and aligned with global standards. Zain KSA secured the Cloud C Level by achieving ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018,CSA L2, NCA(CCC) and PCI DSS certifications reinforcing the reliability of its cloud solutions.

With all data securely stored within its advanced local cloud network infrastructure, Zain KSA provides robust services and solutions to its business customers, supporting them throughout their whole journey.

Customized and Innovative Solutions

With customer expectations becoming more sophisticated, the demand for exceptional care and personalized experiences has surged. Zain KSA anticipates these expectations, consistently delivering a plethora of solutions and customization requests, as well as innovative ideas to explore and implement.

Eng. Al-Sadhan reaffirmed the company's commitment to ramping up investments in innovation and research and development (R&D). “We aspire to offer customers a broad range of proof of concepts (PoCs), demonstrating how the latest innovations and products, particularly in fields like IoT and AI, among others, can effectively meet their needs.”

Zain KSA believes investing in pioneering technology that meets customers’ specific needs is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in the Kingdom’s dynamic digital services sector. Remarkably, the Company has established a dedicated task force to address customization and innovation demands. Eng. Al-Sadhan stated: “Our customer-centricity is at the heart of our strategy to develop and expand our ecosystem. By embracing personalized and innovative solutions while leveraging a constantly evolving localized technology ecosystem, Zain KSA will continue to drive progress and innovation within Saudi Arabia's tech industry, paving the way for a digital-led sustainable future.”

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