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Nokia and Zain KSA use Mobile Edge Computing to help Umrah and Hajj pilgrims better navigate their journey during the holy seasons

Monday 1 May 2017

Nokia and Zain KSA use Mobile Edge Computing to help Umrah and Hajj pilgrims better navigate their journey during the holy seasons

Nokia and Zain KSA deployed Nokia’s Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) platform for the delivery of smart applications to subscribers in the vicinity of Mecca, allowing them to navigate the crowds and ensure the best mobile experience during the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage.

Busy events can create challenges for operators as many people attempt to access the mobile network at the same time. With millions making the Hajj pilgrimage each year, this challenge is elevated.

During the last Hajj, Nokia and Zain trialed the Nokia Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) platform together with Edge Video Orchestration over the network using both macro and small cell base stations to enhance the experience for Zain’s subscribers.

The Nokia MEC allows applications to be hosted closer to the edge of the network, therefore closer to subscribers, to efficiently use network resources and open up new opportunities for the delivery of compelling, tailored services in high-traffic locations. By combining MEC with Edge Video Orchestration, video feeds can be efficiently broadcast to multiple subscribers’ devices simultaneously with millisecond latency. Massive data processing was performed by deploying the Nokia AirFrame Data Center technology.

During the Umrah and Hajj, subscribers will be able to download and use two site-specific applications over the MEC-enabled network:


  • The Zain People Finder to easily navigate the crowds and locate and meet up with friends and family
  • The Live Hajj application allowed to view video streams from the Al Rahmah Mountain in Arafat and the Jamarat area, to identify the best and quietest time of day to perform the ‘flinging of the pebbles’ ritual*.


Sultan AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer of Zain KSA, said: “Umarah and Hajj is the most important event in the region and we pride ourselves on offering exceptional services to the pilgrims. In keeping with our commitment to offer the best possible services to our subscribers, we have invested in modernizing our network in the Hajj area. The deployment of the Nokia MEC platform and two smart Hajj applications on this network is yet another milestone in our evolution toward building smart cities in the kingdom.”

Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain KSA Customer Team at Nokia, said: “We are pleased to work with Zain to showcase the benefits of using MEC to deliver a differentiated experience at such an important event. By moving processing capabilities closer to people and their devices, the Nokia MEC telco cloud platform has great potential to be used for smart city deployments and will enable operators like Zain to launch compelling new services for consumers and enterprises.”