stc has expanded its strategic partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) for the deployment of 5G Core for New Radio standalone on Ericsson Cloud Native Infrastructure.
This new expansion on stc’s 5G Core (5GC) network, will now support both 5G standalone (SA), non-standalone (NSA), in addition to 4G. The collaboration also includes the implementation of Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) solution for more flexible and efficient network traffic performance. The extension of stc’s collaboration with Ericsson highlights the 5G Core solution’s high performance and its 100 percent 3GPP standard-compliance.
5G Core SA supports new and innovative 5G applications for consumers and enterprises. 5G standalone (SA) offers several benefits like enhanced end-user experiences, simplified operations and service agility, improved network capabilities and, future-proof network architecture. Additionally, 5G SA opens the doors to a greater number of services for enterprises and efficiency gains in simplification and operational efficiency.
The announcement includes Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core including Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core, Cloud Unified Data Management (Data-storage Manager, Subscription Manager and Resource Controller products) and Signaling Controller, enabling an open ecosystem that allows the integration of third-party applications. Furthermore, the deployment of Ericsson’s Cloud Native Infrastructure and Ericsson Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure will support the massive scale, performance, and reliability required for the delivery of stc’s innovative 5G services.
Ericsson’s state-of-the-art 5G Core serves as a fully containerized solution. Although Ericsson’s 5G Core can run on other cloud native infrastructures, stc has chosen the Ericsson system-verified solution providing low total cost of ownership while being open for third party applications and hardware. The architecture of the 5G Core gives stc the flexibility to be responsive to market demands while controlling costs at a time of growing network complexity. The agreement also includes continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) using Ericsson’s software pipeline for increased efficiency, reduced risk & service agility will be at the forefront to delivering Time to Market benefits to stc customers.
Eng. Bader A. Allhieb, Infrastructure Vice President at stc says, “We are thrilled to expand our collaboration with Ericsson and deploy their groundbreaking 5GC solutions to our core network. Ericsson’s 5G Core solution will significantly enhance our network, optimize our subscriber experience, and help us deliver innovative 5G services faster to our customers. We believe constant innovation to our core network is vital to accelerate the adoption of 5G and through our collaboration with Ericsson we are one step closer to achieving our aspiration in line with stc’s network vision.”
Eng. Emad A. Alaoudah Procurement and Support Services Vice President at stc says, “Our strategic partnership with Ericsson aligns with digital transformation, which is a keystone of stc’s business strategy, which aims to develop the company into a world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms supporting digital transformation across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region.”
Ericsson’s 5G Core technology will also optimize stc’s subscriber experience and allow 5G enabled phones to experience the full benefits of 5G with use cases based on lower latency, increased bandwidth, and massive device connectivity. The standalone core will also enable stc’s customers to download ultra-high-definition video content in mere seconds and play high-definition real-time video games on the move.
Mathias Johansson, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt says, “The expansion of our long-standing partnership demonstrates stc’s confidence in our high performing dual-mode 5G Core solution and cloud infrastructure solutions and comes at a time of growing digitalization in Saudi Arabia. The deployment of 5G Core technology to stc’s infrastructure will prove to be significant as a growing number of organizations across the Kingdom start adopting emerging digital technologies that rely on 5G such as Artificial Intelligence and explore various cloud-led digital transformation solutions. Through constant innovation, we aspire to work with our local partners in the market like stc to further accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation goals in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and to ensure that the promise of 5G is fully realized in the Kingdom.”
Lucky La Ricca, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa says, “Utilizing Ericsson’s 5G Core solution, stc will deliver cloud native applications that ensures capacity, and elasticity to the underlying infrastructure. Coupling this with high levels of orchestration and automation, higher levels of operational efficiencies will be achieved. This enables new and exposed network capabilities that will accelerate stc’s drive to release the full potential of new 5G-enabled, edge computing use cases defined by low latency and higher throughput.”
5G subscriptions are forecasted to reach 62 million in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region by 2026, as per the June 2021 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. To meet this growing demand, it is necessary for telecom operators to constantly innovate their network and enhance the 5G experience. Having worked together to launch 5G across the Kingdom in 2019, Ericsson and stc’s continued combined effort aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G in the region and keep the Kingdom geared up for the digital age.