Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has inked 5G agreements with Huawei and Cisco, while also signing a deal with Ericsson to extend the footprint of its 4G networks and deploy LTE-A and NB-IoT. Under its agreement with Huawei, STC will focus on innovation of 5G technologies and joint efforts to develop the 5G roadmap. The deal with Cisco will pave the way for collaboration for the development of 5G in Saudi Arabia. Cisco will work with STC to ‘transform its network to unlock the commercial potential of ultra-modern 5G mobile networks.’ Nasser Al-Nasser, chief operating officer of STC, said: ‘Our new 5G network architecture will enable us to make the next leap forward by delivering inclusive broadband that transforms how people use technology in their daily lives. We look forward to working closely with Cisco to develop a future-ready network that delivers advanced capabilities to help us address increasing customer demands and new service trends.’
For its part, Ericsson was selected by STC for a major nationwide 4G expansion programme, including the deployment of LTE-A and NB-IoT. The LTE-A rollout, which got underway in December 2017, includes the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G-ready baseband hardware in the 700MHz spectrum band. STC has already deployed multiple 4G layers across the 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2100MHz bands.
In related news, Huawei has inked a 5G memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabian cellco Etihad Etisalat (Mobily). The deal is focused on launching 5G testing in the Kingdom.