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Nokia, Zain bring smart city project in Saudi Arabia

Municipal services, business climate targeted by smart city projects in Jeddah

Saudi mobile telephony operator Zain KSA and Finish vendor Nokia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a smart city initiative in Jeddah.

Under the terms MoU, Nokia and Zain will apply advanced networking technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing to connect and manage a wide array of devices, vehicles, homes and applications.

Nokia said that the implementation of these technologies will improve municipal services and enhance the business climate in the city.

“Jeddah is the second biggest city in Saudi Arabia – and thanks to our collaboration with Nokia, it will also be a smart city. Introducing IoT to all walks of life is a top priority for Zain KSA,” Zain’s CTO Sultan Al Deghaither said.

The two companies will also employ advanced network and customer experience management tools to ensure smooth and seamless operation across the objects and locations.

Under the two-year initiative, Zain and Nokia will enhance the network capacity, accessibility and efficiency of Zain KSA’s mobile broadband network in Jeddah, eventually leading to 5G access. The smart city initiative also stipulates the expansion of small cells and Wi-Fi deployments across the city.  

Zain KSA ended 2015 with 11.9 million subscribers in Saudi Arabia, which represented a market share of approximately 20% Zain launched commercial operations in Saudi Arabia on August 2008. The Group holds a 37% equity stake, a Saudi consortium owns 21%, and the remaining 42% are free float.

Telefonica confirms new chairman

In other EMEA news, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica’s board of directors approved the appointment of José María Álvarez-Pallete as the company’s new chairman.

The executive will replace long-serving executive chairman César Alierta, who had announced his retirement last week. He named chief operating officer Álvarez-Pallete as his replacement. The operator’s directors voted unanimously in favour of the appointment, Telefonica said.

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