The leading telco operator in the Middle East is looking to the future. In an agreement recently signed with Rakuten Mobile, Riyadh-based stc took a major step toward accelerating the delivery of mobile network services through the use of open technology — a move that could revolutionize wireless infrastructure for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This collaboration on mobile innovation aims to “expand our global partnerships and help diversify our strategic growth,” commented Eng. Nasser S. Al Nasser, Group CEO, stc. “We are confident this [agreement] will bring tangible results in terms of developing a new advanced technology strategy and accelerating the early deployment of novel and sophisticated services.”
Offering access to the best of Rakuten Mobile’s network design
The collaboration with Rakuten Mobile includes the potential for creating a next-gen mobile telco infrastructure blueprint for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). “This is a vital role for us, as we continue with our Digital Transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, serving the 2030 vision,” added Nasser.
Rakuten Mobile’s RCP is designed to enable others to replicate what Rakuten Mobile has already done in Japan with its world-first cloud-native 4G and 5G mobile services launched this year. RCP has the potential to empower telco operators, such as stc, to offer secure and open mobile networks at speed and low cost, generate new revenue streams and offer customers innovative and immersive experiences. RCP offers access to the best of Rakuten Mobile’s network design, which combines the latest technology in virtualization and automation, including containers and microservices.
Defining a new generation of mobile infrastructure
The two companies will also explore future opportunities to collaborate in various technology domains, including fully autonomous digital platform serving telecommunication cloud network, OpenRAN (radio access network) deployment options for greenfield and brownfield use-cases, operating models and business value realization. The new OpenRAN mobile access technology promises to improve the quality of many real-time services.
“We believe that our open architecture and advanced OpenRAN technologies will help define a new generation of operators who are ideally positioned to place advanced customer experience and differentiated profitable services at the center of their offering,” added Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc. and CEO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc. “We are very excited about collaborating with stc and sharing our know-how of building new-generation telecommunication infrastructure.”
Empowering a strong digital future in Saudi Arabia and beyond
With the signing of this agreement, stc continues its strategic drive for a strong digital future, while augmenting the Digital Transformation strategy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and setting itself up as a telecom to watch in the 5G era.
Today’s announcement also follows an agreement with Madrid-based Telefónica signed in September 2020 that will see the two companies work together to advance OpenRAN technology, 5G core networks and operations support systems (OSS).
From Spain to Saudi Arabia, and beyond, Rakuten hopes RCP will empower telcos, governments and enterprises to lead industry-disrupting innovation.