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Ericsson and Zain Group present Middle East’s first proof of concept for Network Functions Virtualization

Proof of concept demonstration uses Ericsson's virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS) solutions. Supports Zain Group's strategy to drive operational effectiveness and enhance customer experience. NFV a stepping-stone toward Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society, and supports operators ICT transformation journey.

Ericsson and Zain Group, a telecommunications operator headquartered in Kuwait, have announced the Middle East’s first demonstration of proof of concept for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

The proof of concept demonstration uses Ericsson’s virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS) solutions. The objective is to demonstrate cloud use cases that enable Zain to have faster time to market, offer high-quality user experiences and easily deploy ICT services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Machine to Machine (M2M), Rich Communication Services (RCS) and enterprise solutions.

The Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment and Ericsson Cloud Manager are based on OpenStack, OPNFV and ETSI MANO, allowing operators to deploy Ericsson's and other vendors' hardware and virtualized software products. This helps operators allocate network resources more flexibly, simplifies network configuration and delivers operational and capital expenditure savings.

Hisham Allam, Chief Technology Officer, Zain Group, says: “We are keen to lead the way in the region when it comes to virtualization, as it paves the road for implementation of new technologies across all our markets. Partnering with Ericsson enables us to achieve our strategic goals when it comes to enhanced operational effectiveness and customer experience."

Rafiah Ibrahim, President, Region Middle East and East Africa, Ericsson, says: "This successful proof of concept showcases the possibility for operators to deploy NFV on a broader scale. By using Ericsson’s technology, operators such as Zain Group are able to build global standard agile networks and speed up new service introduction.”

“Ericsson’s vision is a Networked Society where every person and every industry is empowered to reach their full potential. This collaboration demonstrates the trajectory with which regional operators can transform and explore the possibilities of the Networked Society.”

The announcement was made at the Zain Technology Conference, held in Bahrain between November 30, 2015 and December 2, 2015.

About Zain Group

Zain Group is a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in eight Middle Eastern and North African countries with a workforce of over 7,000. As of September 30, 2015, Zain Group provides mobile voice and data services to over 45.6 million active individual and business customers.


Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society – a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, business and society to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With approximately 115,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions – and our customers – stay in front.

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2014 were SEK 228.0 billion (USD 33.1 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.