Nokia said that it is expanding its strategic 5G partnership with Zain KSA to include a roll out of 60,000 5G Gateway 3.1 with eSIM across Saudi Arabia over the next 12 months.

The gateways will deliver better connectivity and ultra-high data speeds to homes and offices across the country. The new deployment will allow Zain KSA to support smart home and office adoption in the country with enhanced connectivity for smart devices through 5G and Wi-Fi 6, according to the vendor.

Nokia FastMile 5G gateways take advantage of the the vendor’s self-optimizing mesh Wi-Fi 6 solution for real time Wi-Fi performance optimization. Nokia also noted that this deployment is the first time eSIM has been used in a 5G fixed wireless access solution.

“Zain KSA is joining the leading operators around the world, in providing the 5G fixed wireless access to deliver a gigabit experience to consumers and businesses alike,” said Sandra Motley, president of the Fixed Networks Division at Nokia. “The combination of FastMile 5G Gateways and self-optimizing mesh Wi-Fi 6 technology means that Zain KSA is delivering a new and unmatched 5G experience to everyone, at every corner in homes and offices.”

In June 2019, the two companies had announced a three-year deal to roll out 5G to thousands of sites using Nokia’s portfolio, introducing 5G using 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz along with massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO).

In related news, Tawal, a Saudi ICT Infrastructure company, has announced a partnership with Nokia to provide full turnkey services towards expanding and deploying 5G for Tawal’s infrastructure in the western and southern parts of Saudi Arabia.

This project is part of Tawal’s plan for 5G expansion in that region, where Nokia will be adding 5G capabilities to 670 4G sites over the course of six months. In addition, Nokia will be replacing some existing towers with new ones while modernizing and strengthening others.

“This partnership will highlight Nokia’s full turnkey services, which will contribute to achieve the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision and support the digital transformation,” said Khalid Hussein, country senior officer at Nokia Saudi. “Our partnership will further pave the way for future collaborations with Tawal in the 5G era.”

Nokia has reached 187 commercial 5G deals with individual customers and a total of 138 commercial 5G engagements, including paid trials.

Nokia said that a total of 44 5G networks are already live using the company’s products and solutions.