To meet the challenge of ever expanding smartphone and mobile broadband growth, Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have sealed a strategic deal that will deliver state of the art solutions in the Radio Access Network, resulting in high capacity ready networks in Riyadh and Jeddah; thus, doubling 4G network capacity and boosting performance even further throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Through this strategic deal, STC will secure improved end-user experience and readiness for smooth capacity enhancement to meet increasing demands and requirements of variety of new applications. By modernizing its networks, STC will accommodate the communications needs of the highly-demand Saudi market, and lay the foundation to meet future network requirements.
“We are committed to providing the very best services to our valued customers. As such, we have to be visionary when it comes to our investments. Together with our strategic and long-term partner, Ericsson, we are able to address market challenges, such as the unprecedented mobile broadband data growth across multiple technology layers, as well as the increasingly high demands of a more technologically savvy end user,” said Dr. Khaled Biyari, STC Group CEO.
Ericsson addresses these challenges by delivering new scalable solutions and services to provide better network performance and end-user experience. Solutions to be delivered to STC will expand the existing coverage footprint, while densifying sites for better coverage, capacity and quality. With Ericsson’s state-of-the-art radio systems, STC will be able to boost its application coverage, indoor performance and cope with rapid demand increase and limited spectrum availability. Ericsson radio system gives scalable and adaptive solutions for highly dynamic mobile markets like KSA. Indoor venue demands, expectations and traffic growth will be addressed by delivering In-Building Solutions utilizing the latest technologies, products and capabilities. Ericsson Microwave and Transmission will provide connectivity solutions to connect new sites including small cells in addition to expansions and planned upgrades.
Ericsson fully supports STC to implement its strategy of empowering knowledge-based economy. Accordingly, as part of this project Ericsson will provide extensive training to upskill STC employees in the latest mobile network technologies and enable the talents for dealing with tremendous technology shifts in the market.
Moreover, as part of the deal, Ericsson and STC are currently deploying the first 5G trial in the Middle East as a direct result of STC’s vision of being the prime diver for the next generation solutions for Mobile Broadband and digital transformation. This early pre-commercial trial will give STC an early exposure for 5G technology development and will open the space for tailored 5G use cases in the Saudi market. 5G is coming with wide promises for industry, business and society transformation. Therefore, this early trial gives STC a leading position in experiencing and co-developing this new wave of technology.
Elaborating on the opportunities that this deal will bring to STC customers, Ali Eid, Head of Ericsson KSA, said:” Once again, our long-term partnership with STC has resulted in a further strengthened collaboration, as well as modernized and world class communication services in the Kingdom. We are honored to be STC’s partner of choice in its journey of transformation and growth towards the future of the Networked Society.”
Ericsson is present today in all high traffic LTE markets including US, Japan, and South Korea, and is ranked first for handling the most global LTE traffic. In addition, forty percent of the world's total mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. More than 270 LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core networks have been delivered by Ericsson worldwide, of which 200 are live commercially.