Huawei will help the Saudi telco to upgrade its existing infrastructure towards 5G

Saudi Arabian carrier Mobily has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese vendor Huawei focused on the deployment of future 5G networks in the country.

The companies announced a five-year plan to upgrade Mobily’s networks and accelerate the arrival of 5G to Saudi Arabia.

Mobily and Huawei’s five-year plan, named Network 2023, will see an end-to-end network evaluation and evolution strategy to upgrade Mobily’s existing infrastructure, the Chinese vendor said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Huawei will assist Mobily with its “4.5G” to 5G evolution and its target network planning. The companies will collaborate to fully cloudify Mobily’s network to make it ready for 5G, in addition to cooperating on IT and data center strategy and planning.

“We are excited to combine forces with Huawei to ensure that Saudi Arabia remains at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies in 5G. Innovation is vital to enabling the Kingdom to transform into a digital country, and at Mobily we are committed to deploying the most advanced technologies to provide the people of Saudi Arabia with a high standard of living and a modern environment. Our collaboration with Huawei will surely help us reach this goal,” said Maziad Al-Harbi, CTO at Mobily.

“We are proud that Mobily has selected Huawei as a partner to lead their development in the field of 5G. At Huawei, we aim to play a leading role in assisting the government in reaching the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030 to become a diversified, knowledge-based economy, and intelligent and agile telecommunications infrastructure is vital to the success of these aims,” said Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia.

Rival operator Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has been also taking actions towards the deployment of its 5G network in the country.

Earlier this year, STC had announced a cooperation agreement with Nokia, under which the two partners will work to launch a 5G network in Saudi Arabia. STC and Nokia agreed to jointly work towards finding the most optimal network strategy and relevant use-cases for 5G deployment in the Saudi market. The initial phase of the cooperation agreement stipulates the deployment of hundreds of 5G base stations in Makkah, Madinah and Yanbu. The 5G collaboration aims to use Nokia’s equipment and solutions, including 5G-ready AirScale platform and AirFrame data center for the network launch.

STC has also signed 5G agreements with Huawei and Cisco. Under the agreement with the Chinese vendor, the two companies are committed to cooperate in the 5G network launch in 2018.

STC and Cisco had also recently announced a collaboration on the development of 5G communication systems and networks. Cisco will work closely with STC on its architectural transformation to help the Arab telco to provide advanced network services in the 5G era.

In addition, STC inked an agreement with Ericsson for strategic 5G collaboration and to boost its consumer and enterprise digital services. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work on creating a strategic roadmap for the evolution of STC’s network to 5G technology. The MoU included collaborations on extensive 5G commercial trials in Saudi Arabia.

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