NEWSBYTE: Saudi telco looks to Ericsson to assist LTE network expansion in the kingdom.
Saudi Telecom has inked a deal with Ericsson to help in a major nationwide expansion of its 4G network in Saudi Arabia, including the deployment of LTE Advanced and NB-IoT.
The deal is part of the telco’s drive to overhaul mobile broadband for its customers and open up business opportunities in the IoT, as well as laying the groundwork for 5G.
The LTE Advanced expansion will include the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G-ready baseband hardware. LTE Advanced will be deployed in a new 700MHz band spectrum acquired by STC. It will increase STC network throughput in 4G/LTE by up to 50 percent for smartphones, said a statement from the two companies.
In addition to the ramped-up access speeds delivered by LTE Advanced, subscribers will benefit from extended coverage, much longer battery life, and the low-cost devices enabled by NB-IoT, it added.
Expanding IoT network
STC will also deploy NB-IoT across its expanded network to “drive and support enterprise IoT ecosystem innovation and business opportunities”, said the announcement. This includes smart city applications, such as metering, parking sensors, and connected cars.
STC recently renewed and upgraded its managed services contract with Ericsson. In addition to existing network planning/optimisation, network operations, and telecom field services, the contract now includes field services efficiency, as well as first- and second-line support.
“By making digital transformation real and effective for STC through 4G expansion, we will enable their customers to enjoy enriched experiences, whether that means lightning-speed video and media access for subscribers, or IoT business innovation and opportunities for enterprises,”said Rafiah Ibrahim, head of market area Middle East and Africa, Ericsson.
“Our partnership with STC shows that 4G network evolution is already happening and paving the way for 5G.”
Internet of Business says
In the light of a raft of recent announcements from Western companies working in partnership with China, India, and elsewhere, it is good to see international partnerships extending to the MENA region too: yet more evidence that the IoT is a global movement.