Zain claimed to be the first operator in the Kingdom of Bahrain to switch on NB-IoT technology, which the company has been trialling with Swedish vendor Ericsson.

In a statement, Zain Bahrain technology director Ali Isa Al Yaham noted the IoT “will play a key role in realising Bahrain’s smart vision 2030”.

Here, he is presumably referring to the Kingdom’s Economic Vision 2030, introduced in 2008.

Al Yaham indicated the NB-IoT network addresses growing demand for low-power, connected devices from consumers and enterprises.

Zain Bahrain announced in January 2021 that it had completed trials of NB-IoT technology in collaboration with Ericsson.

The operator highlighted the “massive potential” of the technology for IoT services and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

Deploying M2M and IoT services as 5G use cases also forms a core part of Bahrain’s fifth National Telecommunications Plan adopted in 2020 covering a three-year period.

The GSMA in February announced a total of 170 mobile IoT networks had been commercially launched worldwide. Of these, 110 are based on NB-IoT and 60 on LTE-M.