STC used 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Chinese vendor Huawei confirmed they have completed what they claim to be the first trial of indoor 5G in the Middle East region.
During the trial in Dammam, STC used 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band on the 5G network, and achieved a peak user downlink throughput of 1.3 Gbps.
STC launched the 5G test using Huawei’s 5G product which supports both 5G NR (New Radio) and 4G LTE.
The trial included verification of 5G technologies and air interface DL peak throughput.
The Arab telco said that the 5G indoor solution is aimed at providing users with a faster user experience, as well as better access to services such as 4K/8K video streaming and AR/VR video game applications.
Following the launch of its first live 5G network in May 2018, STC said it currently provides 5G coverage in more than 450 locations across Saudi Arabia.
Huawei also said that Arab carrier Viva Kuwait will establish a 5G innovation center, with the aim to explore, develop, and launch new 5G use cases in Kuwait during 2019.
Currently, the operator is in process to rollout a nationwide 5G network with over 1000 5G NR sites.
Zarrar Khan, Viva’s CTO said: “Moving forward, we intend to position Viva as first operator in the world to deliver true 5G NR experience, with the planned nationwide coverage, our clients will have access to 5G networks and experience new services. The establishment of the 5G innovation center will help us to drive digitalization across vertical sectors and industries. The networks will enable new revenue streams, enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately uplift the standard of living across Kuwait.”
Viva Kuwait chose Huawei as strategic partner to support its 5G rollout. The two companies had already worked together in the deployment of 3G and 4G services.
du conducts first live 5G data call
Also in the Middle East, UAE-based telecommunications service provider du has announced that it has conducted the first live 5G data call on its network.
The telco is in process to deploy 700 5G sites across the UAE.
The telecoms operator said it also launched a native cloud unified 5G core network solution with capability to accommodate 5G NSA and 5G standalone evolutions.
The cloud-native and distributed 5G network will provide du’s data network with the capability to implement a variety of 5G use cases, the carrier said.
du said Huawei and Nokia are its strategic partners in the 5G rollout.
Saleem AlBlooshi, chief infrastructure officer at du, said: “We are delighted to modernize and expand our network to latest state of the art 5G NSA including access network and native cloud 5G core network that supports NSA and SA. We are proud to make this technology commercially available in the UAE.”
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