Zain Saudi Arabia partnered with tourism developer Red Sea Global to launch what the pair touted as the world’s first zero-carbon 5G network, backing a broader green strategy by the country’s government.

In a joint statement, the partners noted the green network will be powered by 760,000 solar panels and is expected to cover a 28,000-square-kilometre holiday resort in Saudi Arabia.

Red Sea Global is owned by the Saudi Investment Fund and the company stated the initiative is aligned with the state’s sustainability commitments announced in 2016, which targets the deployment of clean energy, carbon footprint reduction and environmental safeguards.

Deployment of the zero-carbon 5G comes as the Red Sea prepares to open 50 tourist resorts and more than a thousand residential properties across the islands later this year. Zain explained the cell towers it built for the project will be shared with other operators.

CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither said it is committed to “localising innovation and promoting the use of locally sourced content”, adding the company will continue to aid the Saudi Arabian government in their digital transformation and environmental goals.

Also commenting on the partnership, group CEO at Red Sea Global John Pagano said it and Zain aim to “set new standards in sustainable development”.

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