Saudi Arabia’s incumbent telecommunication service provider, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Nokia have signed an agreement to develop a full 5G network in the country. Nokia will supply its full 5G portfolio to STC.
In line with the global trend towards 5G, STC intends to deploy the latest high-speed wireless technology products in order to bring reforms to its telecommunication sector. STC as a network leader in the region and a state-owned operator is a participant in the Kingdom‘s National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030. Both plans focus on advancing technologies for the digital transformation and growth of the country.
The deal between Nokia and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is to deploy a 5G network with Nokia’s end-to-end 5G solutions in Saudi Arabia. Nokia’s equipment, software and services will be used 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.
STC’s enterprise customers will benefit from various IoT vertical use cases enabled by 5G, such as energy, healthcare, education, transport and entertainment. 5G 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.
For Nokia, the deployments in Saudi Arabia would open new opportunities in other MEA telecom providers. STC has taken a decisive leap into 5G, which will encourage many others to follow. By helping STC in preparing the network for the introduction of innovative 5G use cases, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city services, Nokia also continue to support Saudi Vision 2030.
Nokia solution for the 5G network:
– Nokia AirScale base station: AirScale Base Station enables service providers in delivering massive capacity and connectivity.
– The project involves adding new sites using AirScale base station
Nokia AirFrame data center solution will run any cloud-based application with ease
– 5G Massive MIMO allows service providers to increase capacity, coverage and speed
– Nokia Wavence platform prepares the microwave transport for telco cloud and 5G era
– Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) uses licensed and unlicensed spectrum for higher capacity and enhanced speed
– Nokia Cloud RAN enables operators to use the cloud to make the network more scalable and agile, which helps in maximizing performance
– Nokia AirScae Indoor Small cells will be used to supplement the macro network to improve coverage capacity in both indoor and outdoor environment
– Nokia Network Services Platform (NSP) provides a more efficient way to automate, optimize and assure network services across multiple network layers, physical and virtual infrastructure, as well as equipment from multiple vendors
– Nokia NetAct gives the service provider a consolidated view of multi-domain, multi-technology networks, which ensures the best network experience in the 5G era
– EdenNet allows operators to automate to realize the full potential of their network and drives transformation towards 5G
1 The Nokia CloudBand Application Manager (CBAM) is a VNF manager that automates VNF lifecycle management and cloud resource management
– Digital Antenna System Radio Frequency Module enables service providers to scale and meet the continuously growing traffic
– Nokia Cloudband tames virtual infrastructure management complexity and cost while managing the lifecycles of virtual network functions
– Five component TDD-FDD LTE carrier aggregation approach will be used to enhance the capacity of the network
For the deployment, Nokia will leverage its services expertise including Managed Services and full turnkey services including network design, planning and optimization, project management of site acquisition, civil work construction and network implementation.
New Opportunities for Jobs:
5G opens a big opportunity for engineering and related technical jobs in Saudi Arabia. Though the nationalization process in the telecommunication sector has been implemented, in order to carry-out engineering projects, the country needs to depend on foreign manpower. This could be due to multiple reasons such as lack of available skilled manpower or simply shortage of laborers. Traditionally, Saudi Arabia has been looking for South East Asian countries for skilled as well as unskilled manpower.
5G developments would attract new investment to the ICT sector, which would also be an encouraging for the Kingdom’s telecom policy and strategy makers.