As a global technology leader, stc has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the kingdom. It has always invested in future technologies to ensure that it meets the growing needs of its customers. Over the last decade, wireless technology has changed dramatically and it has transformed the way people use telecom services and applications. Therefore, customers continue to demand faster speeds and increased data volumes, which resulted in a dramatic and exponentially grown in data traffic.
To address the future needs and offer a much higher quality of service to its deserving customers, stc is phasing out its legacy 3G network to make way for more advanced technologies such as 4G and 5G. Work on the ‘3G Sunset Program’ has already started and is expected to be concluded in less than two years’ time. These plans are helped by a decreasing number of customers still using 3G devices on stc network. As part of this process, stc is committed to ensuring a smooth transition of all remaining 3G customers (to 4G and 5G devices) before the actual shutdown date in 2022.
The 3G freed spectrum will be re-utilized in the new and more advanced technologies. stc has been focusing investment in the 4G network over the last few years; delivering the best 4G network in the kingdom, in terms of both coverage and quality. stc has the largest 4G customer base in the country, who can now enjoy fastest and most reliable Internet services, through different flexible customer offerings.
stc has also embarked on the mission of being the pioneer in the 5G technology. It has already rolled out 5G network in many parts of the kingdom and will continue to expand its 5G footprint in the months and years to come. A number of 5G Internet packages have been launched by the company, along with the introduction of compatible 5G devices (e.g. smartphones, routers, Mi-Fi, etc.). The new and highly advanced 5G use cases are designed to benefit many customers and industry verticals. 5G will offer the necessary high speed data, latency, security and reliability to support VOLTE voice services and cutting-edge “Industry 4.0” capabilities, incorporating advanced technologies such as AI, data analytics, IoT, etc.
Eng. Khaled Al Dharrab, Infrastructure VP, stc, said: “stc took a bold and daring decision to phase out its legacy 3G network in order to focus investment on more modern and advanced technologies such as 4G and 5G technologies. This will ensure that stc customers continue to enjoy the best possible experience with the network, as part of a comprehensive digital transformation journey. stc is a technology pioneer in the region and at a global level, therefore, this move will cement its leadership status in the kingdom and will remain a dynamic role model for the operators in the region. 4G and 5G technologies will provide the incentive for economic growth; at both individual and enterprise level, supporting the Kingdom’s vision 2030”.
The aforementioned technological advancements by stc will help in transforming the digital landscape of the country and will also confirm stc’s position as a “world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to its customers and enabling the digital transformation in the MENA region”.