Thursday, May 4, 2017

Zain Saudi Arabia deploys Nokia MEC in Mecca

Nokia announced that Zain Saudi Arabia has deployed its multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform to support the delivery of smart applications to subscribers around Mecca and help provide improved mobile experience during the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage.

Nokia stated that following a successful trial during the last Hajj, Nokia and Zain have deployed the Nokia MEC platform, combined with Edge Video Orchestration capability, in the network using both macro and small cell base stations with the aim of enhancing services for Zain's subscribers.

The Nokia MEC solution is designed to improve mobile applications by enabling them to be hosted closer to the edge of the network, and therefore nearer to subscribers. This allows more efficient use of the network resources, as well as enabling the delivery of tailored services in high-traffic locations and conditions.

In addition, by combining MEC with Edge Video Orchestration video feeds can be more efficiently broadcast to multiple subscriber devices simultaneously with millisecond latency. As part of this solution, the Nokia AirFrame data centre technology performs the high levels of data processing that is required. Nokia also provided network implementation, system integration and network planning and optimisation services for the deployment.

Nokia noted that during the Umrah and Hajj, subscribers have access to two site-specific applications over the MEC-enabled network, specifically the Zain People Finder, which provides crowd navigation to help people meet up, and the Live Hajj application, which allows viewing of video streams from the Al Rahmah Mountain in Arafat and the Jamarat area.

  • Previously, in 2016 Zain Saudi Arabia and Nokia announced they had entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering collaboration on a major smart city initiative, designed to transform Jeddah, one of Saudi Arabia's largest cities, into a model smart city by 2018.
  • Under the agreement, Nokia and Zain are implementing advanced networking technologies in the areas of IoT and the cloud with the objective of enabling connectivity and management for an array of devices, vehicles, homes and applications. The initiative is intended to improve municipal services and the business environment in Jeddah, as well as improve the quality of life for its residents. The two-year project also covered the upgrade of Zain's mobile broadband network in Jeddah in preparation for 5G.