Zain, Huawei sign MOU on Kuwait innovation centre
MWC 2013: Agreement expected to lay groundwork for LTE services, applications
Kuwait's number-one telco Zain has announced that it will join forces with China based kit maker Huawei to launch an innovation centre in Kuwait.
The centre will serve as a research hub for the advancement of long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technologies and associated applications for Zain's mobile subscribers in its domestic market and across the region.
The hub is intended to support Zain in the enhancement of service offerings while identifying additional revenue streams. Both Zain and Huawei will be investing capital in the construction of the centre with the two companies also bringing together a team of global specialists, engineers and other personnel.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining their ambitions for the research hub during a ceremony at this week's Mobile World Congress 2013 being held in Barcelona, Spain. In attendance at the signing ceremony was Omar Al Omar, CEO, Zain Kuwait, Hani El-Kukhun, COO, Zain Kuwait, Shafeeq Omar, CCO, Zain Kuwait, Shi Yaohong, president, Huawei Middle East, Pan En, GM, Huawei Kuwait and Mohamad Sharara, head of Zain Key Account, Huawei.
"We are very pleased to have completed the signing of this agreement," said Zain Kuwait's Al Omar.
"Zain prides itself for being the only telecommunications company in Kuwait that offers its customers various telecommunication solutions while providing the best mobile services experience in town. We are aware that the competition for quality Internet services is increasing, and by partnering with a leading global ICT solutions provider such as Huawei to launch the first joint innovation centre, we are reassuring our utmost concern in offering latest technologies in Kuwait.
"The centre aims at enhancing the overall LTE experience throughout Zain's Middle East networks, allowing customers to browse the Internet through their smartphones faster than before."
Among the goals for the new centre will be the testing of new LTE-compatible services and applications, as well as the development of sophisticated processes that can be used to measure subscribers' quality of service and perform more robust customer-experience analysis.
To date Huawei has launched more than 28 joint innovation centres worldwide in addition to 16 global research and development (R&D) centres. Huawei annually invests an average of over 10% of its total annual sales revenues into R&D, with approximately 70,000 of its more than 150,000 employees worldwide currently engaged in R&D activities.
"As a provider of the fastest mobile broadband services to customers across Kuwait, Zain has succeeded in evolving various generations of world-class technologies in order to provide its customers today with an expansive coverage network and high-speed LTE access," said Huawei's Shi during the MoU signing ceremony.
"Huawei is honored to have forged a long-term strategic partnership with Zain in the field of mobile broadband, both in Kuwait and across the Middle East region. Based on a mutual dedication to addressing customer needs, we are confident that this latest joint innovation centre will help bring the world's most advanced telecom services and applications to more people anytime, anywhere."
Zain had initially partnered with Huawei in launching LTE services in Kuwait under the banner "Wiyana Connect 4G LTE" in November 2012. Zain and Huawei expanded their LTE partnership after the deployment of earlier 2G and 3G networks in the country.