Zain Saudi uses MEC to provide a better experience during Umrah

Nokia's mobile edge platform to provide smart applications to subscribers near Mecca
Muslim people visiting holy mosques in Mecca and Medina for Hajj. (Image- shutterstock)
Muslim people visiting holy mosques in Mecca and Medina for Hajj. (Image- shutterstock)

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Zain Saudi Arabia has deployed Nokia's Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform for the delivery of smart applications to subscribers in the vicinity of Mecca, allowing them to navigate the crowds and ensure the best mobile experience during the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage. MEC platform has been deployed together with Edge video orchestration over the network using both macro and small cell base stations.

This follows a successful trial during the last year's Hajj. Sultan AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer of Zain Saudi Arabia, said: "Umarah and Hajj are the most important events in the region and we pride ourselves on offering exceptional services to the pilgrims. In keeping with our commitment to offer the best possible services to our subscribers, we have invested in modernising our network in the Hajj area. The deployment of the Nokia MEC platform and two smart Hajj applications on this network is yet another milestone in our evolution toward building smart cities in the kingdom."

Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia Customer Team at Nokia, said: "We are pleased to work with Zain to provide the benefits of using MEC to deliver a differentiated experience at such an important event. By moving processing capabilities closer to people and their devices, the Nokia MEC telco cloud platform has great potential to be used for smart city deployments and will enable operators like Zain to launch compelling new services for consumers and enterprises."

The Nokia MEC allows applications to be hosted closer to the edge of the network, therefore closer to subscribers, to efficiently use network resources and open up new opportunities for the delivery of compelling, tailored services in high-traffic locations. During the Umrah and Hajj, subscribers are able to download and use two site-specific applications over the MEC-enabled network:the Zain People Finder to easily navigate the crowds and locate and meet up with friends and family; and the Live Hajj application to view video streams from the Al Rahmah Mountain in Arafat and the Jamarat area, to identify the best and quietest time of day to perform the 'flinging of the pebbles' ritual.

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