Nokia and Zain KSA have started a massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) pilot in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on the TD-LTE network using 2.6 GHz spectrum.
The pilot uses Nokia's 5G-ready Air-Scale massive MIMO antenna for 4.9G calls to improve network capacity to provide speeds of above 700 Mbps per user, enabling customers to enjoy extreme broadband applications without experiencing any buffering.
Once the pilot is completed, the actual deployment will allow Zain to meet the growing demand for ultra-broadband services while deploying 5G-ready equipment. Zain will be able to add revenue streams by launching innovative services and products for its subscribers.
Massive MIMO is especially useful in helping service providers add capacity in densely populated urban environments. Massive MIMO uses 64-Transmit-64-Receive (64T64R), which allows unprecedented Gigabit-level throughput enabling users to enjoy new use cases including Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Nokia's 5G-ready AirScale massive MIMO antenna paves the way for the transition to 5G and coexistence with LTE on the 2.6 GHz band, delivering better network capacity, improving coverage and significantly enhancing uplink and downlink speed.
Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia, said: "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."
Ali Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia, said: "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."