STC, Nokia Siemens Networks launch commercial 4G network using TD-LTE

in press-release, Nokia Siemens Networks, STC, TD-LTE, 4G, LTE

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – September 15, 2011, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is now able to offer commercial 4G mobile services using TD-LTE *(time division long term evolution) technology. The 4G network was built by Nokia Siemens Networks for the country’s western region. TD-LTE offers an enhanced mobile broadband experience with faster access to high quality video and more responsive data services such as interactive gaming.

LTE, a fourth generation mobile broadband technology, enables STC to deliver high data throughputs, allowing consumers to benefit from a wide range of new and innovative multimedia applications and services. Nokia Siemens Networks supports two LTE standards, time division duplex (TDD) for single spectrum bands or frequency division duplex (FDD) for paired spectrum bands. Each offers similar capacity, user experience and coverage. STC has deployed an unpaired TD LTE mobile broadband network.

“Nokia Siemens Networks’ capabilities and commitment to the overall LTE ecosystem have contributed to STC’s leadership in providing innovative mobile broadband services,” said Dr. Zeyad Bin Thamer Al Otaibi, group CTO, Saudi Telecom Company. “The transformational capabilities of 4G will provide our customers with increased speeds and enhanced user experience.”

The Middle East and Africa region will witness an increase of monthly mobile data traffic at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 129% over the next five years, which is the fastest for any region in the world**. In Saudi Arabia, demand for increased mobile broadband penetration is being driven by young consumers and a large expatriate community.

In Saudi Arabia’s western region, Nokia Siemens Networks delivered the TD-LTE network and USB data dongles as end user devices for the commercial launch. The TD-LTE radio network is built on a cluster of sites in the three cities in the western region. It uses Nokia Siemens Networks’ single radio access network (RAN) including its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and is integrated with the operator’s existing core, transport and backhaul infrastructure. Nokia Siemens Networks’ TD-LTE network and USB data dongles can provide maximum data speeds of close to 100Mbps as specified by 3GPP. In addition, it works seamlessly with STC’s 3G network and services that the company offers as an Internet Services Provider. This enables service continuity for customers, wherever they are.

“Before launching the commercial service, we successfully tested applications such as video streaming, file download, gaming and web browsing services that fulfill the demanding needs of the Saudi users”, said Soenke Peters, group head of the STC team at Nokia Siemens Networks.“The results show that TD-LTE enables excellent data speeds and highly responsive services such as innovative multimedia applications, allowing customers to enjoy a superior ‘click-wow’ experience rather than the earlier ‘click-and-wait’ one.”

The TD-LTE launch demonstrated the viability of this platform and the commercial readiness of Nokia Siemens Networks’ TD-LTE network and devices. Nokia Siemens Networks is leading the commercialization of LTE for commercial references and live network performance. It signed the region’s first LTE contract in October 2009. Today, 3 of the company’s 44 worldwide commercial LTE deals are in the Middle East.

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