Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Zain Saudi Arabia upgrades LTE network using Nokia centralised RAN technology

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia, which recently announced the deployment of Nokia's multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform in Mecca, have enhanced network upload speeds at Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports stadium by a claimed up to 50% utilising Nokia centralised RAN technology.

The centralised RAN deployment is designed to improve uplink connectivity and quality of experience for attendees at football matches and other events held at the venue, known as the Al Jawhara Stadium, Jeddah's largest stadium.

Nokia noted that the popularity of events held at the stadium has prompted Zain Saudi Arabia to seek technology to address spikes in uplink data traffic triggered by large numbers of fans sharing photos and videos on social media. Zain selected Nokia's centralised RAN technology to improve uplink performance, specifically by deploying clusters of LTE base stations within the stadium to optimise bandwidth performance and address uplink congestion in the 1800 MHz bands.

The Nokia solution also helps improve smartphone energy efficiency as less power is required when uploading content. For the project, Nokia also provided professional services to support the design, testing and optimisation the performance of the new centralised RAN technology.

The Nokia centralised RAN is deployed on Zain's LTE network that is based on Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 base station. The Nokia centralised RAN technology enables more than 60,000 fans to share content with up to 50% higher upload speed, with the capacity improvement supporting a claimed 31% increase in uplink traffic for events held at the Al Jawhara Stadium.

Earlier in May, Nokia announced that following a successful trial, Zain had deployed the Nokia MEC platform, combined with Edge Video Orchestration capability, into its network using both macro and small cell base stations to enhance services for Zain's subscribers. The solution leverages Nokia AirFrame data centre technology to support high levels of data processing.