Zain Saudi and Nokia Take Hajj Events into Virtual Reality with 5G
Telco operator Zain Saudi Arabia and technology provider Nokia have successfully demonstrated a 5G-enabled VR (Virtual Reality) advanced use case in Mashaer area and the Holy Mosque area in Makkah. This technology allows visitors to experience Hajj remotely as if they are present on site. Hajj is annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah, the holiest city for Muslims. More than two million pilgrims visited Makkah as part of Hajj in 2018.
The demonstration is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 for the development of digital infrastructure to improve the quality of life in the Kingdom. Nokia has deployed massive MIMO 5G technology using its AirScale platform in Hajj area for the advanced Virtual Reality (VR) application. As part of the demonstration, high-resolution 360-degree video feeds are transmitted to room-size displays enabling the viewers to be immersed in the experience. Zain’s 5G network is used to send the video feeds from cameras deployed in multiple locations in Makkah to cover Hajj events in real time, utilising 5G mobile broadband capability for the content delivery and low latency for real-time camera control.
Eng. Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “Millions of people from around the world visit Hajj every year. This use case will allow them to have immersive remote view of locations they have to visit such as the holy mosque to choose the best time and avoid crowds. Further, the concerned authorities will be able to provide better security to the pilgrims and the people of Saudi Arabia. We are committed to bringing innovative 5G use cases to the country. 5G collaboration with global technology-leader Nokia will help us provide innovative use cases to transform the way people live and work.”
Ali Jitawi, head of the Zain Customer Business Team at Nokia, said: “We are committed to supporting Zain Saudi in realizing the enormous potential of 5G. This virtual reality demo on its 5G live network is an important achievement in shaping the 5G use cases towards further contributing to National Transformation Plan 2020 and Saudi Vision 2030. The successful demo of this 5G-enabled use case is crucial and establishes that Zain’s network is now ready to provide innovative use cases which demand extremely low latency and ultra-high-speed.”
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