Zain Sudan, the country’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, has been awarded an LTE licence by the local regulator the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), paving the way for the introduction of high speed 4G data services in the country. In an announcement on social media, Kuwaiti-owned Zain Sudan said the licensing agreement was signed on 18 February by the firm’s managing director and CEO Elfatih Erwa and the director of the NTC, Yahya Abdullah, in the presence of Minister of Science and Communications Tahani Abdullah Atiya.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in early 2015 the NTC revealed that it intended to issue licences to the country’s existing mobile network operators for the provision of 4G services. The regulator said it would enter into negotiations with cellcos with a view to concluding uniform conditions for all licensees, such as quality of services and coverage commitments.
In the past, Zain has indicated that it would use its spectrum in the 1800MHz band to provide 4G services, subject to approval from the NTC. The cellco, which had a subscriber base of 11.869 million at the end of 2015, has claimed that as soon as it does receive permission, it could begin offering LTE ‘within four months’, as much of its mobile broadband network is already able to support the technology.