Monday 10 August 2020

The Many Firsts of STC Kuwait

Kuwait is a small country with a small population. Kuwaitis are a minority in their own country with expatriates constituting 70% Of Kuwait's population. With these facts, one could be forgiven if they are completely unaware of how three innovative operators are trying to do some amazing stuff here.

STC Kuwait was called Viva Kuwait and was re-branded last year as we blogged here. In one of our recent posts, we explained the 5G scene in Kuwait. Kuwait has a very competitive landscape with Zain, Ooredoo & STC all vying to be number 1. In their annual report, Zain claims to be the largest operator with 38% subscribers while STC is smallest with 27%. In you look at the picture above, STC claims to have 33% market share, putting all the three operators at par with each other.

Ahmed Al Sharif, General Manager, Network at STC Kuwait recently did Service Provider Keynote at 5G Mena. His talk, embedded below talks about many different innovations STC is doing in Kuwait.

As can be seen in the pictures above, STC was first with nation wide 5G network, first with FDD 8T8R globally and first with CA & VoLTE globally. They have LTE TDD + TDD NR with dual connectivity. Their press release from back in Feb this year provides a lot of details.

stc - Kuwait, a world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to customers enabling the digital transformation in Kuwait, announced today the deployment of an E2E 5G SA solution from Devices to Network and billing with the ability to simultaneously support both 5G Non-Stand Alone (NSA) and 5G Stand Alone (SA).

This initiative builds on stcs partnership and vision to collaborate with Huawei to deliver an agile, cloud native, next generation 5G network that gives stc the ability to introduce new 5G services and experiences with the shortest time to market. With the best 5G wireless coverage by end of 2019, stc - Kuwait updated its wireless network seamlessly to support the SA NSA terminals. stc Kuwaits 5G core network platform is fully designed with containerized micro service architecture making it truly Cloud Native. The hardware of platform is MENA first running on the innovative disruptive next generation ARM V8 architecture powered by Huawei servers which have been specifically designed to meet the needs of the ICT industry especifically as we enter the 5G era.

These ARM based servers are able to leverage their abilities in providing a highly scalable, massively dense, power efficient 5G Core to stc - Kuwait based on the industry standard 5G reference architecture ensuring an open and rich ecosystem.

stc - Kuwait also upgraded its billing system to further support multi-dimensional, multi-scenario charging for consumer, home and corporates. Collaborating with 5G SA technology, stc currently has an end to end network ready with an initial focus on eMBB and is looking forward to the industry to standardize mMTC uRLLC.

stc Kuwait CEO, engineer Maziad Alharbi said, 5G is where the aspiration of the enterprising business and the magical consumer use cases will for the first time become reality. We are able to provide guaranteed SLAs through SA, especially the enhancement in uplink to support our Dedicated Access offering to enterprises. It is now possible with 5G to see stc pave the way for users to experience low latency and massive connections to become a reality in Kuwait.

He added, This is why stc has partnered with Huawei to design and deliver a network that considers the latest trends and utilizes evolutionary learning systems to provide an unmatched user experience. A safe and secure digital ecosystem where industries and consumers can benefit from with services tailored to their needs. We hope to welcome everyone to experience this end to end 5G SA with us.

Here is a keynote video:

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