STC also working on 5G with Ericsson, Cisco and Huawei

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has announced a cooperation agreement with Nokia, under which the two partners will work to launch a 5G network in Saudi Arabia in 2018.

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.

“We have decided to collaborate with Nokia for this critical launch, with the aim of making 5G a reality in 2018,” acting STC group CEO, Nasser Al Nasser said.

“We have defined a 5G Future X portfolio that draws on our research across radio, optics, IP and software technologies. Our end-to-end portfolio including Nokia AirScale radio and the Nokia AirFrame datacenter solution will allow STC to evolve its network, managing 4G demands today and the 5G demands of the future,” Amr El Leithy, Head of Middle East and Africa Market at Nokia, said.

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.

Earlier this month, the Saudi telecom operator had 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.

The trials will also cover end-to-end 5G potential including Radio Access Network (RAN), core and transport as well as various 5G use cases that will leverage 5G technology capabilities for consumers and businesses, the two companies said.

Ericsson had also signed a second MoU with the Saudi telecom giant aimed at identifying key digital services use cases, targeting faster time-to-market for new service offerings, network monetization and building IT capabilities based on existing systems.

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