Ericsson, stc deploy 5G standalone for Saudi consumers and enterprises

Saudi Arabia-based telecom stc partnered on Tuesday with Swedish giant Ericsson to deploy 5G standalone (SA) for consumers and enterprises on Ericsson Cloud Native Infrastructure.  

This move follows a two-year partnership between both telcos signed back in 2019, when the Saudi firm deployed 5G network using Ericsson’s commercial hardware and solutions including radio access network (RAN).  

The new expansion on stc’s 5G Core (5GC) network, will support both 5G standalone (SA), non-standalone (NSA), in addition to 4G. 

Additionally, the collaboration includes the implementation of Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) solution that will guarantee more flexible and efficient network traffic performance. 

5G SA provides numerous advances such as enhanced end-user experiences, simplified operations and service agility, improved network capabilities, and future-proof network architecture. 

The new deal involves continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), which are delivery processes for new software versions and services that can be automated. 

The (CI/CD) implementation using the Swedish software’s’ pipeline is said to increase efficiency, reduce risk, and enhance service agility. These three factors will provide Time to Market benefits to stc customers. 

“Ericsson’s 5G Core solution will significantly enhance our network, optimize our subscriber experience, and help us deliver innovative 5G services faster to our customers,” said Bader A. Allhieb, infrastructure vice president at stc in a joint statement.  

This project aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030, that focuses on the digital evolution across the Kingdom.  

“Through constant innovation, we aspire to work with our local partners in the market like stc to further accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation goals in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and to ensure that the promise of 5G is fully realized in the Kingdom,” said Mathias Johansson, vice president and head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  

The deployment of 5GC technology to stc’s infrastructure will be a key player in the digital growth. Specifically, when several organizations in KSA start adopting emerging digital technologies that rely on 5G such as AI, and explore various cloud-led digital transformation solutions, Johansson explained.  

5G subscriptions are estimated to reach 62 million in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region by 2026, according to Ericsson Mobility Report.  

To achieve this goal, telecom operators across Saudi Arabia must take the initiative to modernize their network and boost the 5G experience.