The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is emerging with its digital face more than ever before, in a clear affirmation of the digital transformation path that it is going through in light of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and its main goals for an ambitious nation, a prosperous society, and a vibrant economy. The capital, Riyadh, stands out in this most beautiful form of transformation, as it recently ranked first among world capitals in its (5G) network service speed at a rate of 317.3 Mbps, ahead of capitals such as Tokyo and Dublin, according to the report issued by Open Signal for the period from January to March 2021.
There is no doubt that behind these achievements is a remarkable competition between telecom operators in the Kingdom to provide their best expertise and services in a way that enhances the capabilities of the Saudi ICT sector and the Kingdom’s global competitiveness in this field. In this context, Zain KSA appears at the top of the scene, as it has recently gained additional international recognition, in addition to the previous international and regional awards and certificates it has won. The recognition came this time in the globally acclaimed umlaut report, specialized in measuring the performance of global networks, focusing on the efforts of Zain KSA in leading the development of the wireless network in all parts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It was distinguished from the rest of the telecom and internet service providers in the 5G network, in addition to the advanced technologies and strong digital performance of the company. It was recognized as the best 5G Riyadh and the fastest in downloading and uploading files.
Moreover, Zain KSA was also recognized for having the fastest YouTube video start time and browsing websites, which supports customers with surfing the website, music (song downloads) and social media trends and photo uploads.
On his end, Mr. Hakan Ekmen, CEO Telecommunication at umlaut commented on the reports’ results: "Congratulations to Zain KSA for showing the best rated mobile data experience in 4G and 5G in Riyadh City. On top Zain KSA's network has the strongest coverage and highest peak data rates with a very high reliability in all its services. This is remarkable, especially in these challenging times of the COVID-19 virus!"
umlaut’s, network evaluation reports fairly and transparently assessed the networks of different operators through a unique scoring methodology and framework. Aiming to determine the efficiency of the Kingdom’s network operators in delivering wireless connections to consumers in Riyadh city, business users and enterprises, umlaut has conducted thorough network performance tests on the technologies of the major telecommunication companies in the city of Riyadh. umlaut benchmarked the typical user experience on the available networks with a focus on 5G. Earning the highest 5G data score in umlaut’s report, Zain KSA’s 5G network and overall-powered technologies and digital performance allowed it to stand out among other counterparts.
umlaut’s results are another testament to Zain KSA’s successful strategy marked by substantial capital investments in network upgrades and the deployment of the 5G technology across the Kingdom and especially its main cities, thus reflecting the ambitious digital transformation outlined through Saudi Vision 2030 and its goals of fostering a digital society. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already made huge strides in digitalization, with its capital jumping more than 18 ranks in the global Smart City Index 2020 (published by IMD), outperforming highly-connected hubs including Tokyo, Paris, and Rome.
Using the latest smartphones in a moving vehicle roaming the city over a distance of 1733 km, umlaut recorded a top data score from all Zain KSA technologies with 894 points out of 1000. Considering data for 5G, Zain KSA leads with a score of 899 points. The closest competitor follows with 877 points for all technologies and 881 points for 5G. In addition, Zain KSA’s 5G data service shows an excellent reliability and performance with success rates of at least 98.8%.
umlaut’s unique scoring methodology, being widely recognized as the de-facto industry standard, comprises a wide range of testing scenarios and categories. When testing the technologies’ performance in data stream file download, Zain KSA achieved 99.4% success rate with the best session reliability through all its technologies, including 5G. Its data stream file upload rate similarly registered an overall 99.2% for all generations, and 99.4% for 5G. To illustrate, Zain KSA possesses highest download and upload speeds of 635.4 Mbps and 112.2 Mbps respectively.
With file download and upload speed rates being a significant part of the mobile user’s experience, umlaut’s tests measure an operator’s performance in download and upload sessions across all technologies. The figures reveal that Zain KSA has the shortest 5G session time for both 5Mb file download (1.0s) and 2.5Mb file upload (2.1s), demonstrating the company’s capabilities in ensuring the shortest session time for music download and a seamless social media experience through streamlined upload and download processes.
The report further covers the data services performance by measuring YouTube’s video start time and resolution. The fastest start time is achieved by Zain KSA with a consistent 1.3s in tests carried over all technologies including 5G, all while delivering an excellent 920p resolution.
Following the wide-scale rollout of its 5G network, Zain KSA attains the highest 5G peak data rates and the strongest 5G coverage across the city with 89.5% allowing it to advance beyond its closest competitor by at least 27%, according to umlaut’s data. Through its significant efforts enhancing its network with upgrades and investments in recent years, Zain KSA leads the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom and helps in advancing the competitiveness of the Saudi ICT sector globally.
It is worth mentioning that umlaut is a world-class contributor to digital advancement on a global scale. By delivering a robust scale to assess network quality and performance coupled with a unified measurement methodology for true international comparison, umlaut’s benchmarks encourage operators to improve their performance and networks and to raise the bar.