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Zain Bahrain First in the Middle East and North Africa to Enhance Network Experience by Successfully Sunsetting its 3G Network 

Zain Bahrain improves both 4G and 5G experience with superior network speeds and coverage by sunsetting its 3G Network. Zain Bahrain partnered with Ookla®, a global leader in broadband and mobile speed testing and web-based network diagnostic applications, leveraging their industry-leading solutions and services.

This milestone transition is part of Zain Bahrain's more significant upgrades to its networks, using the latest technologies and by re-using the spectrum for more efficient 4G and 5G standards. This makes it the first operator in the Middle East and North Africa to make this strategic move.

Zain Bahrain, being the first in the region to achieve this milestone, also recently participated in an Ookla Webinar under the title "Lessons Learned from a Successful 3G Sunset" to share its experience of delivering more advanced network services by successfully repurposing its 3G spectrum. Zain Bahrain discussed the six key stages of their 3G transition journey during the past years, including the use of crowdsourced network intelligence from Ookla Cell Analytics™.

The network improvement played a key role in lifting the Kingdom's Ookla Global Index ranking into the top 10 countries worldwide.

Duncan Howard, Zain Bahrain CEO said: "We are extremely proud to be the first operator in the MENA region to achieve this significant milestone. This strategic regional first move supports Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030 digital transformation ambitions in adapting innovative digital services across the Kingdom. Our customers are now benefiting from enhanced 4G and 5G coverage and faster data speeds. Re-purposing our 3G spectrum delivered upgrades to both 4G and 5G upgrades, empowering us to offer more innovative services and a better connectivity experience to our customers. We are grateful to our partner Ookla for their support during this journey"
Stephen Bye, President and CEO of Ookla, a division of Ziff Davis, said: "Our collaboration with Zain Bahrain is aimed at the optimization of their networks, more efficient utilization of their spectrum and the improvement of their customer experience in the MENA Region. We are proud to have supported them to better serve their customers and offer a more advanced service with enhanced 4G and 5G coverage and faster speeds."

The repurposing of the 3G spectrum has improved the reach of 4G and 5G networks for more advanced services, better speeds, and to enhance the overall connectivity experience for customers. It will also help pave the way to offer customers advanced services. Ookla validated that Zain Bahrain had a significant improvement in both downlink and uplink user throughput, as well as improved coverage and customer sentiment because of the sunset. 

It should be noted that many mobile operators around the world have already announced plans to sunset their 3G networks, with operators in the USA having already done so.

The company will keep its 2G network, to support legacy Internet of Things (IoT) devices and to support customers with older handsets. 

For more information on Zain Bahrain's 3G Sunset Roadmap, please refer to the Ookla webinar Lessons Learned From a Successful 3G Sunset.

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