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stc, Nokia, and MediaTek announced their successful verification of 4 Component Carrier Aggregation (4CC-CA) in the 5G Standalone (SA) network within the city of Makkah for the first time in the Middle East and Africa. Carrier Aggregation (CA) allows mobile operators to reach higher throughputs by combining different spectrum assets efficiently to enhance the 5G user experience. CA will also allow stc to deliver leading 5G services to its customers and achieve a faster time to market for new 5G use cases.

The companies used a combination of two FDD carriers (700 MHz and 2100 MHz) and two TDD Sub-6GHz band carriers (2300 MHz and 3500 MHz) using FDD-TDD CA technology. Nokia used its commercial Air-Scale Baseband, massive MIMO, and RRH products, powered by its ReefShark chipset, on stc’s live network. MediaTek provided its 5G mobile platform featuring its Release-16 ready M80 modem.

Bader Allhieb, infrastructure sector VP at stc, said: “The region-first trial of 4CC-CA in 5G SA mode reiterates our commitment to provide a world-class experience to our subscribers.”

Ibrahim Al-Abbas, head of the stc customer business team at Nokia, said: “Carrier aggregation allows service providers to make optimal use of spectrum without impacting the network performance. Nokia is at the forefront of developing 5G CA and other technologies that support service providers in maximizing the use of available resources.”

Rami Osman, director, business development, Middle East and Africa at MediaTek, said: “MediaTek has become the largest global supplier of smartphones and 5G CPE chipsets. Our co-work here with stc and Nokia helps stc leverage the maximum data throughput from each and every megahertz of its precious spectrum assets by implementing their required band support into our RF chipset.”

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