17 Jun 2019
Kuwaiti mobile operators Zain and Viva both launched commercial 5G packages for home modem users on 15 June 2019, following last month’s decision by the country’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) to grant 3.5GHz 5G technology licences.
Zain is offering 5G Internet bundles for post-paid customers initially based on the ‘5G BOLT’ router device, with monthly prices starting at KWD45 (USD148.60) for a 500GB monthly tariff, and data volumes ranging up to 4TB, plus a range of add-on products such as the TP-Link ‘deco-mesh Wi-Fi zone extender’ for home or office use. Zain stated last month that it was ready to launch 5G with ‘nationwide coverage of all areas’.
Viva Kuwait also announced the launch of its own-branded 5G router-based packages on the same day, similarly charging a KWD45 entry-level tariff for new post-paid 5G data plans, whilst promising ‘a new wave of capabilities for internet and smartphone users’ (although 5G smartphones are not yet advertised). A company release added that Viva ‘will strive to provide mobile devices that support 5G and [users] will be able to pre-order soon’. Viva CEO Maziad Nasser Al-Harbi claimed upon the launch: ‘We are the only company that has more than 1,000 sites covered by the 5G service in the Middle East.’ Viva also claimed that 5G subscribers can look forward to ‘average download speeds touching an unbelievable 1Gbps’.
Rival operator Ooredoo Kuwait is also advertising a 5G router device (Huawei 5G CPE Pro) and associated data plans – matching Zain and Viva’s KWD45 monthly cost for a 500GB pack, plus a KWD65 1TB bundle – but its website currently carries the instruction: ‘Register now and we will contact you as soon as the 5G routers are available’.