LTE Advanced and NB-IoT drive STC 4G expansion in KSA

The deal spearheads STC’s drive to revolutionize mobile broadband-driven data experiences for its subscribers.
Updated 04 March 2018
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LTE Advanced and NB-IoT drive STC 4G expansion in KSA

Ericsson has been chosen by the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group for a major nationwide expansion of its 4G network in Saudi Arabia, including the deployment of LTE Advanced and Narrow Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in Radio Access Network (RAN). The deal spearheads STC’s drive to revolutionize mobile broadband-driven data experiences for its subscribers and open up new enterprise opportunities in IoT, while laying the groundwork for evolution to 5G.
The LTE Advanced expansion, which got underway in December 2017, includes the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G-ready baseband hardware in the network. LTE Advanced will be deployed in a new 700MHz band spectrum acquired by STC. It will increase STC network throughput in 4G/LTE by up to 50 percent for smartphones.
In addition to the data-driven content access speed delivered by LTE Advanced, subscribers will benefit from extended coverage, much longer battery life, and low-cost devices enabled by the new cellular IoT technology, NB-IoT.
The digital transformation also sees STC deploying Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) in RAN across its expanded network to drive and support enterprise IoT Ecosystem innovation and business opportunities. This includes Massive IoT applications for smart city purposes, such as metering, parking sensors, and connected cars.
STC recently renewed and upgraded its managed services contract with Ericsson. In addition to existing network planning and optimization, network operations and telecom field services, the contract now includes field services efficiency, as well as first and second line support.
Nasser Al-Nasser, STC Group CEO, said: “At STC, our main goal is to ensure that the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 ambitions are met. We do that by always making sure we offer our subscribers the latest innovative technologies. LTE Advanced and NB-IoT are exactly what we need to pave the way to 5G.”
Rafiah Ibrahim, head of market Area Middle East and Africa, Ericsson, said: “By making digital transformation real and effective for STC through 4G expansion, we will enable their customers to enjoy enriched experiences, whether that means lightning speed video and media access for subscribers, or IoT business innovation and opportunities for enterprises. Our partnership with STC shows 4G network evolution is already happening and paving the way for 5G.”
STC has already deployed multiple 4G layers across various frequencies (LTE 1800, LTE 2300, and LTE 2100).


Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Updated 12 December 2018
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Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Careem held the first edition of its Captain’s Excellence Award Ceremony in Riyadh on Saturday. The event, which will be held annually, was the first-of-its-kind in the region and welcomed over 300 top-performing “captains” (Careem drivers) across the Kingdom. 

The captains were awarded based on different criteria such as: Captains with the highest number of trips, highest (customer-given) ratings and longest serving captains. Rewards were also handed out to captain ambassadors, i.e. those with the highest number of referrals and captains that were given a special shoutout on social media by customers for their dedication to their service. Several rewards were handed out along with the grand prize, a brand new car. 

Abdulla Elyas, chief people officer and co-founder of Careem, opened the event with an ode to the captains in attendance, thanking them for their service and commitment in driving impact through meaningful initiatives across the Kingdom. Some of these initiatives included the vaccination campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which helped more than 100,000 men, women and children across 17 cities get vaccinated in their own homes. Careem also collaborated with Bupa Arabia during Ramadan this year to donate clothes from customers to people in need, where over 180,000 donations were collected. 

Elyas also announced Careem’s partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP) in delivering the first installment of cars for the empowerment of people with special needs. The foundation, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will provide a number of cars over the course of seven years to men and women of the Society for Physically Disabled Adults (Harakia) after being trained.

“Our captains are the lifeblood of our business and we wanted to celebrate these men and women for helping us achieve our mission of simplifying and improving the lives of people in the Kingdom,” Elyas said. 

“We are proud to have 395,000 ‘captainahs’ (female drivers) and captains registered with us to date in Saudi Arabia, providing over 122 million rides. This ceremony is our small way to thank them for their service and reward them for the hard work they put in every day so that people have a safe way to get around. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today” 

Muaaed Al-Saeed, a representative from the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said: “We are excited to have you all; you have overcome each obstacle you were faced with in a short span of time and for that we are extremely proud.” 

He added: “On this occasion, I convey the regards of PTA President Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih. The participation of myself and Majed Al-Zahrani, PTA general manager, is proof of our support to all the captains.”