The Kingdom of Bahrain has claimed a ‘world first’, with the commercial launch of a nationwide WiMAX network by Zain Bahrain (formerly MTC-Vodafone Bahrain). At yesterday’s launch Zain introduced its Zain@home brand for residential customers, which offers bundled high speed WiMAX broadband internet connections (up to 2Mbps download), fixed line voice and GSM mobile services without the need for a PSTN subscription to incumbent Batelco. Zain@home is also nomadic, meaning that customers can move address without changing phone numbers. Mahmoud Abu Zannad, director of broadband services at Zain Bahrain, said: ‘This package gives customers a real technological advantage as well as excellent cost benefits. Customers can choose a variety of bundled services that leverage the company’s well-established mobile phone services.’ Detailing the customer benefits, marketing segmentation specialist of Zain Bahrain, Ms Manal Ahmed, explained: ‘All packages of Zain@home offer up to 2Mbps internet speed – a unique concept to the Bahrain market. This comes with unlimited talk time between Zain@home network customers and free minutes to all local destinations, whether mobile or fixed line.’ In addition, she said, calls made from a Zain@home package to up to three designated Zain mobile numbers will get a 50% discount and international calls will be billed per second. Customers signing up for the package before 31 December 2007 will have set-up fees waived. They will also get their fixed-wireless WiMAX unit at 70% off the listed price upon signing a twelve-month contract and up to 85% off if they take up an 18-month contract.