Wholesale carrier BICS, an affiliate of Belgian full-service provider Proximus, has successfully set up the first ever intercontinental 5G Standalone (SA) roaming connection between two live networks in Europe and the Middle East. The company claims the connection was the first of its kind to be performed in a non-laboratory environment and demonstrated successful roaming between the 5G SA networks of Proximus and stc Kuwait.
Mikael Schachne, VP Telco Market at BICS, commented: ‘Until now, operators around the world have only been delivering 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) roaming that routes traffic through 4G/LTE core. By establishing 5G SA roaming, we’ve broken down the barriers to bring the power of this technology to international communications. This is an important step for the industry, and accelerates the benefits of 5G to potential consumers and enterprises around the world.’
Connectivity between the visited and home network was established via secured gateways (SEPP) – a next-level security protocol mandated by roaming regulators GSMA, and which can be hosted on BICS’ IPX network – for faster and more efficient implementation and management.