Zain Sudan, the local mobile unit of Kuwait-based Zain Group, has become the first operator to announce the commercial launch of 4G LTE services in the country. Under the first phase of its rollout, 4G network coverage will be extended across the capital Khartoum, Medani, Port Sudan and El Obeid, in cooperation with Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson, in order to reach around 20% of the population. Zain will then also work with China’s Huawei to expand LTE services to other regional centres of Sudan. Almost 300 4G sites have already been switched on, with 15 towns and cities set to gain coverage of the high speed network by the end of June, rising to 21 by the close of 2016. Mobile market leader Zain was awarded its LTE licence by local regulator the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) in February this year.
‘Zain remains committed to delivering the highest quality of service to its customers in all the markets in which it operates, and highly appreciates the opportunity to introduce 4G into Sudan,’ commented the cellco’s Managing Director and CEO Elfatih Erwa, adding: ‘The authorities in Sudan showed wisdom and foresight in granting a 4G licence to Zain at a sensible fee amount, as it allowed Zain to invest more in technology and infrastructure, as well as to offer competitive pricing for 4G services … Launching the service is set to advance national projects such as e-government, facilitating a higher level of communication between citizens and providing a higher standard of living generally.’