Zain Bahrain plans region’s first LTE network
NSN wins contract for the LTE upgrade of Zain Bahrain’s network
Zain Bahrain said it is planning to upgrade its network with LTE technology in a bid to “future proof” its operation and gain an advantage over rival mobile operators Batelco and STC.
The company, which is the first operator in the region to unveil plans for an LTE network, awarded the contract for the upgrade to Nokia Siemens Networks.
Shaikh Ahmed Bin Ali Abdulla Al Khalifa, chairman, Zain Bahrain, said the upgrade would allow the company to serve more customers, improve its coverage and “deliver better products and services.”
While Zain Bahrain failed to provide a timeframe for the network upgrade, similar projects in other parts of the world are expected to take more than a year to complete, from the time they were announced.
LTE technology, which is expected to deliver mobile broadband with similar bandwidth and latency as fixed-line broadband services, remains in its early stages of commercial deployment.
Swedish operator TelioSonera, which announced a plan to deploy an LTE network with Ericsson in January 2009, expects to go live in 2010. Meanwhile, US operator Verizon Wireless, which announced in late 2008 that it was planning an LTE network, expects to go live with an initial “pre-commercial” network by the end of 2009.