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Zain Group has been named the region's 'Best Network Functions Virtualization and Software-Defined Networking (NFV/SDN) Solution Provider' with Zain Saudi Arabia also being singled out as having the 'Best IoT Application/Service', at the 5G MENA Awards ceremony held in Dubai, organized by Informa, a leading business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group.

The annual 5G MENA Awards ceremony is aimed at recognizing the most innovative, secure, and leading solutions, companies and individuals making a difference in the areas of NFV/SDN, LTE, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) in the MENA region.

Zain Group's NFV/SDN solution has been implemented in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is being rolled out to other key markets. It was judged to be the best among those from operators making a demonstrable impact in facilitating the development of NFV/SDN over the last year. Nominees for the category were required to showcase that they had devised an innovative NFV proof of concept or introduced a new service that would help revolutionize the market, lower barriers and help make technology virtualization a reality.

Additionally, Zain Saudi Arabia was also singled out as having the 'Best IoT Application/Service', in a category recognizing innovative IoT devices, products, applications, services, or solutions that address a specific challenge, or enable a specific outcome that was not previously achievable.

Over the last two years, Zain has been working with leading global technology solutions provider in developing its NFV/SDN solution and IoT Application Service. 

Early 2015, Zain undertook the Middle East's first demonstration proof of concept for NFV with the objective to demonstrate cloud use cases that give Zain a faster time-to-market, offer high-quality user experiences and easily deploy ICT services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Machine to Machine (M2M), Rich Communication Services (RCS) and enterprise solutions. Furthermore, Zain tested the utilization of power of virtualized network technologies to deliver more dynamic, flexible, and efficient mobile services to its customers, combining traditional telecommunications hardware with contemporary cloud-based and software-driven IT solutions.