Zain Kuwait has become one of the first telecom operators in the Middle East to use drones for tower inspection and maintenance services. A Drone-as-a-Service agreement is the first commercial deal for the recently launched Zain Drone meaning Kuwait will be a showcase market for the capabilities of Zain Drone-as-a-Service.
Zain Kuwait, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, has announced entering an agreement with Zain Drone to undertake inspections of its tower infrastructure.
The agreement sees Zain Kuwait as one of the first operators in the MENA region to deploy drone technology to inspect and maintain its cell tower infrastructure, demonstrating the operator’s drive to become a more agile and cost-efficient organisation. The agreement also represents the first commercial deal for Zain Drone.
The pioneering Zain Drone as-a-Service (DaaS) offering was first announced at a ceremony at GITEX in Dubai last year, with the business set to unlock opportunities in various industries to fast-track growth and exploit the Internet of Things (IoT) in an efficient, safer and faster way.
The offering delivers state-of-the art bespoke drone solutions and provides advanced analytics for governments and businesses.
In a growing trend globally for the telecom sector, progressive mobile operators have identified the need to constantly monitor their towers to ensure smooth and hassle-free relay of signals between devices and infrastructure with the aim of creating a great mobile experience for customers.
Drone cell tower inspection reduces costs and the time taken to detect any flaws considerably, as well as providing companies with complete details of defects through visual imagery, making it easier to develop lasting solutions for the problems that are identified.
Zain Kuwait Chief Technology Officer, Nawaf Al Gharabally, said: “Zain Kuwait is a flagship operation within the group, and as such it is important for us to lead the way with regards to developments related to efficiency and infrastructure maintenance.
“Zain Group has always benefited from its broad portfolio of operations, be it from a geographic perspective or a technological one, and tying up with Zain Drone is another example of how strong synergies are being driven within the group to significant positive effect.”
Abdul Aziz Jawad, CEO of Zain Drone, said: “We are pleased to announce our first commercial agreement with Zain Kuwait, one of the most innovative and forward-looking telecom operators in the region.
“Our business case is based on providing tools to our partners that help them optimise their operations and maximise gains from the efficient running of infrastructure.
“Kuwait will be a great showcase market for the capabilities of Zain Drone-as-a-Service, and we look forward to winning further business in Kuwait and other markets across the region from Zain operations as well as from non-Zain affiliated organisations.
Jawad continued: “Automation will play a key role in the cell tower inspection industry where automated workflows have proven their potential by helping cut inspection costs by as much as 50%, given that drone hardware and software technologies have developed to the level that the entire inspection process can be streamlined and automated.
“The valuable benefits of drone technology in this instance include, higher-resolution visual inspections than ground-based inspections; a significant reduction of man hours and costs; safe assessments for the condition and alignment of all components of cell towers with inspections done from a safe distance; an increase in efficiency due to data accuracy, live streaming and zoom or thermal capabilities; and importantly, no network downtime as the cell towers remain functional during inspection.”
Zain Drone is investing heavily to build the required capabilities in drone operations and is positioning itself to become the leading strategic partner in the fast-developing markets for unmanned data acquisition.
The Zain Group enjoys solid in-house expertise in drone technology, drawing from international experts, and enjoys unparalleled knowledge of the enterprise market in Kuwait and across the region.
Zain DaaS offers multiple solutions across core industries such as oil and gas (flare inspections), utilities (power line inspections), construction (BIM), infrastructure (asset inspections), security, real estate, telecom infrastructure, agriculture and other industries.
Earlier this month Zain Drone announced it had entered into a teaming agreement with DroneShield, a worldwide leader in counter-drone solutions, which will see the companies working together on meeting Zain customers’ requirements for counter-drone security solutions in the region.
With the launch of Zain Drone services, the Zain Group is fulfilling its Digital Transformation strategy of offering unique and business enhancing services to its customers.
The company says the benefits of using drones include:
- Being a cost-effective method of acquiring precision aerial data for projects, significantly improving asset inspection and capturing and analysing engineering grade data to improve decision-making.
- The ability to be quickly deployed to capture accurate data at high altitudes for business planning and decision making because they are fast, reliable and cost-effective.
- Their use leads to efficient asset management, plus enhanced maintenance processes, by delivering precise information about the current state of the infrastructure.
- Decreased risk of injuries and casualties due to fully autonomous processes, replacing traditional inspection systems.
- Indisputable evidence in investment disputes.
- Early detection of problems in remote areas or inaccessible infrastructure and rapid scheduling of necessary repairs.