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stc: seeking constant growth

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Saudi Arabia's stc sees big scope in harnessing the ability of its home market to serve as a key hub for the MENA region and beyond. Here's how it's providing the services to solidify that goal, including investing US$1 billion to support the country's vision for 2030.

Year after year, stc has proven itself one of the most diverse and up-to-date organisations in the telecoms industry.

As the leading operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), stc Wholesale recognises the capability of the country to serve as the heart of wholesale international telecoms business in the MENA region and beyond, aiding in this digital era by connecting three major continents together.

stc has a competitive edge as a one-stop-shop offering various services within KSA and beyond that our clients and partners can use to reach their customers at a national, regional and international level.

The company is carrying out many initiatives in the new era of technology. Let’s look at some of those offerings.

A hub for the MENA region

Back in 2020, stc announced its intention to establish a digital hub in the region as a new initiative to support KSA’s vision for 2030, and is now investing US$1 billion in launching the new independent entity.

There are three main sub-plays for the digital hub, comprising: an interconnection hub that manages international and regional carrier needs through a network of subsea cables and terrestrial connectivity to neighbouring countries; a regional content hub that hosts content in local gateway data centres to serve the needs of the country and region; and an in-country cloud hub that localises cloud services, catering for enterprises through the deployment of multiple data centres and internet exchanges across KSA.

As the data-centre colocation market grows in KSA, it creates an appealing investment opportunity for stc. With this in mind, the company announced its plan via 10 existing data centres and six under construction to enable a total capacity of 125MW, with plans to further expand this footprint in the near future.

The MENA Gateway

stc’s MENA Gateway (MG) connects national, regional and international carriers with OTT players, content, CDNs, and national and international enterprises in one location. It facilitates access to a wide range of providers, ensuring cost-effectiveness, redundancy and resiliency that give our clients the freedom to choose the most suitable connectivity to fit their requirements.

MG is located in our world-class data centre in Jeddah, acting as a one-stop shop for all international businesses. It offers a wide range of services, including colocation, peering, cross-connect, equipment storage and professional services.

In addition, MG encourages business among clients to build a thriving ecosystem, as well as providing solutions based on the best international standards, constantly upgrading and developing new services for the data-centre community, and being open to collaborative product development – where the main services entail colocation and white space; cross-connect; data-centre specifications; and building management systems.

JEDIX: a fast-growing internet exchange

JEDIX (Jeddah Internet Exchange) is an stc internet exchange in partnership with top-tier internet exchange point the London Internet Exchange (LINX). Located inside the MG data centre facilities, it interconnects regional, national and global carriers.

The goal is to facilitate internet traffic exchange via flexible interconnection options that enable cost-effective solutions, with members having access to regional eyeballs and served over several diverse subsea cable systems.

JEDIX acts as an ecosystem that connects carriers to OTT players, content, CDNs, ISPs and international enterprise customers in one location. It aids cost-effectiveness, redundancy and resilience, providing the freedom to choose the most suitable connectivity for user requirements, such as 1GE, 10GE and 100GE ports.

A diversified submarine network

stc participates in and owns 14 submarine cable systems with terrestrial and cross-border capabilities. It has 15 cross-border connectivity points with 13 carriers that can handle a capacity of up to over 10Tbps, as well as over 250,000km of terrestrial fibre cables, 60 national network rings forming a full-mesh architecture, and a robust national infrastructure that includes SDH, DWDM, OTN and MPLS networks.

stc’s submarine systems are fully diversified through multiple landing stations and routes, with no single point of failure. The company also has many diversified cable landing stations, with three stations in Jeddah – the AL-Salamah, Alrowis and Al-Mujamah buildings.

Furthermore, it has four distributed cable landing stations in Duba, Yanbu, Haql and Al Khobar. In addition, stc will expand its landing stations in the region through four new stations on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.

Offering a whole range of solutions, stc is dedicated to being a partner of choice and acting as a digital hub for its home nation and the region.

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