Nokia and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) have signed a deal to set up a 5G network first in the western and southern part of Saudi Arabia, including the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The rollout phase is already ongoing and is expected to be completed by end of 2020.
Nokia's full 5G portfolio will provide STC subscribers with ultra-high bandwidth and low latency services, as well as new applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Enterprises will benefit from various IoT vertical use cases enabled by 5G, such as energy, healthcare, education, transport and entertainment; these will not only enhance operational efficiencies and user experiences but provide new revenue opportunities.
The deal involves multiple firsts in STC's network, including the introduction of cloud RAN and AirScale, as well as the deployment of the Wavence platform in the microwave and the AirScale indoor radio.
Nasser Al-Nasser, STC Group CEO, said: "We are excited to work with Nokia on the Aspiration project which will help us realize our dream to be the first one to launch 5G services in the region. Once completed our subscribers will be able to enjoy innovative high bandwidth consuming use cases. The project underscores our support and commitment to the National Transformation Plan 2020 and the Government's Vision 2030 to drive Saudi Arabia's digital transformation into a knowledge economy. The leadership of our longstanding partner, Nokia, in the development of 5G is crucial for our launch of 5G services."
Federico Guillén, President of Customer Operations, EMEA & APAC at Nokia, said: "We are honored to launch a pioneering 5G network in the MEA region and committed to supporting STC with Nokia's advanced products and services. Through the Aspiration project, STC has taken a decisive leap into 5G. By helping STC in preparing the network for the introduction of innovative 5G use cases, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city services, we also continue to support Saudi Vision 2030."