STC hires NSN to expand 4G network in KSA

Telco hires NSN to upgrade GSM and 3G networks and expand 4G
STC is working with NSN and Ericsson to expand its LTE network in KSA.
STC is working with NSN and Ericsson to expand its LTE network in KSA.

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STC has hired Nokia Siemens Networks to expand its TD-LTE network and upgrade its GSM and 3G networks.

STC, which launched LTE in Saudi Arabia in September 2011, has hired Nokia Siemens Networks to deploy TD-LTE radio network infrastructure across 2,500 STC sites over the next two years.

As part of the contract, NSN will also upgrade its NetAct network management system to imporve the monitoring, management and operation of STC’s GSM, 3G and 4G networks.

NSN will also deploy its FlexiPacket microwave transport platform, which is a common transport medium for STC’s GSM, 3G and 4G networks with on-air speed of up to 400 Mbps. The vendor is now committed to building about a third of STC's LTE network.

NSN will upgrade STC’s GSM and 3G networks to its Single RAN platform based on its Flexi Multiradio base station. 

“With more and more subscribers using bandwidth-intensive applications for smart phones and USB dongles, we needed to modernize our existing GSM and 3G networks, while rapidly launching 4G services,” said Bandar Mohammed Al Qafari, vice president network sector at STC KSA.

In February STC said that it had selected Ericsson as one of its main partners for LTE.

STC’s mobile rivals in Saudi Arabia, Zain and Mobily, also launched LTE networks in Q4 2011.

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