STC deploys largest 5G network in the Middle East

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STC confirms that it has provided 450 locations with 5G network access across Saudi Arabia making it’s the largest 5G network in the MENA regions and one of the largest worldwide.

The news marks the initial roll out for STC and the company plans on completing the subsequent phases shortly after in order to spread the availability of 5G services on a wider scale. As a result, enabling the region to keep up with the latest technologies, improving digital services and boosting customer experience.

“This reflects our continuous initiatives as a digital leader, meeting customers’ expectations of advanced services in ICT accelerating market,” said STC in a statement. “In addition, it stated that a larger number of advanced technical services and solutions operated in high Internet speed would be available to customers by the second half of 2019.”

STC launched its first 5G network in May 2018 after the completion of its 5G experiments and trials. The launch as with this one is part of the company’s plans to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s plans for digitisation and national transformation plans 2020.

At the time Nasser Al Nasser, STC Group CEO, said: “we have confidence, knowledge, and innovation, which will enable us to lead the 5G era. The launching of 5G started with operating a number of towers, initially, in the eastern region. The company will continue working on building the network construction gradually in the cities of the Kingdom until the devices are available during of 2019.”   

Last month, STC and Zain were awarded spectrum licences by the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in the 2,300MHz and 2,600MHz band.

STC confirmed that it had won the auction in the 2,300MHz frequency band, receiving a 15-year licence starting from January 1 2020 to December 31 2034. The company will pay $95.9 million (SAR 360 million) in equal instalments for the licence and have confirmed that it is to be financed internally by the company, not affecting its financial results.