Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Ericsson have signed a deal to launch a mid-band 5G network in Saudi Arabia. The deal was announced at a signing ceremony at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona.
STC is deploying a 5G network using Ericsson commercial hardware and solutions including radio access network (RAN), packet core, transport, and Ericsson Network Manager. The network modernization – comprising latest wireless and fixed broadband technologies, boosted speed and 5G deployment – will operate on a 3.5 GHZ band.
Nasser Al Nasser, STC CEO, says: “We are excited to launch one of the fastest mid-band 5G field networks in the world. We have been working in close partnership with Ericsson on 5G for tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial deployment. Throughout this process, our customers and their service requirements are our top priority. Our aim is to build a network that caters for current and future services. 5G is considered as a very important step toward digitalization and connecting everything, which supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 toward economic diversification.”
STC and Ericsson have a longstanding partnership to create a strategic roadmap for the evolution towards 5G technology.
Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “5G holds an immense potential for driving industry digitization and pioneering innovation. Our collaboration with STC has enabled us to create a fast mid-band 5G field network based on real business needs, which supports STC in meeting their future customer requirements.”
5G at mid and high bands is well suited for deployment at existing site grids, especially when combined with low-band LTE. Adding new frequency bands to existing deployments is a future-proof and cost-efficient way to improve performance, meet the growing needs of mobile broadband subscribers, and deliver new 5G-based services.
In addition to facilitating the delivery of next-generation mobile broadband, cloud, and providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, Ericsson’s 5G collaboration with STC will also enable new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency.
The combined effort of the two partners aims to create significant value towards Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, targeting both consumer and business sectors to enjoy next-generation technologies.―CT Bureau