Zain Bahrain signs up Ericsson for 5G

Zain Bahrain has selected Ericsson to build its 5G network in the kingdom, with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019. Spanning Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and 5G Core products and solutions, the contract will see Zain Bahrain’s network modernized from LTE to 5G.


Shaikh Ahmed, Zain Bahrain Chairman and
Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson, signing the 5G agreement

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October marks a significant watershed for commercial 5G deployments

The month of October was a massive one for commercial 5G deployments globally, commencing with the 20-city network launched by Zain in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the month, and ending with China’s three main service providers – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – announcing the commercial availability of 5G services in parts of 50 cities across the country. The operators claim the launch is the largest 5G rollout in the world to-date, coming just six months after the government issued concessions.

China is forecast to have 36 per cent of its mobile customer base on 5G by 2025

Combined, the three cellcos deployed approximately 86,000 5G base stations and expect to have more than 130,000 in place by year-end. Market leader China Mobile aims to install 50,000 sites by end-December, while China Unicom and China Telecom have each targeted about 40,000.

GSMA Intelligence forecasts that China will have 36 per cent of its mobile customer base on 5G by 2025. Because of its huge population this translates to 600 million subscribers – roughly 40 per cent of the entire global 5G market at that time.

Faisal Al Bannai leads newly unveiled national defence entity, EDGE

Following media reports last month that Faisal Al Bannai, Founder and former Managing Director of UAE cyber security firm DarkMatter, was looking to exit the business altogether by year-end, last week he made his first public appearance as CEO and Managing Director of a newly created national defence technology-focused conglomerate called EDGE.

The different entities under EDGE combined employ 12,000 staff and generate annual revenues of approximately US$ 5 billion.

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Zain Saudi Arabia launches region’s largest 5G network to date

In the most significant early bet on the long-term viability of 5G technology in the Middle East, Zain Saudi Arabia announced the launch of 5G in the Kingdom, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities.  This massive rollout is set to be followed by a gradual expansion of the network to cover a total of 26 cities utilising 2,600 towers by the end of 2019.

Zain Saudi Arabia’s massive 5G rollout is set to be followed by a gradual expansion of the network to cover a total of 26 cities utilising 2,600 towers by the end of 2019

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End of an era as Osman Sultan steps down as du CEO in 2020

UAE telco Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) has announced the departure of long-standing CEO, Osman Sultan, to be replaced by Johan Dennelind, who is set to assume the role early next year. Sultan has been the CEO of du since its launch in 2006.

As he was…Osman Sultan at the time of his appointment as EITC CEO in 2006

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