STC to phase out 3G to make way for 4G & 5G

STC aims to become a pioneer in 5G technology. It has rolled out the 5G network in many parts of the Kingdom and will continue to expand its 5G footprint in the coming years.
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Updated 25 May 2020

STC to phase out 3G to make way for 4G & 5G

In order to address their future needs and offer a higher quality of service to its customers, the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is phasing out its legacy 3G network, making way for more advanced technologies such as 4G and 5G.

Khaled Al-Dharrab, infrastructure VP, STC, said: “STC took a bold and daring decision to phase out its legacy 3G network in order to focus investment on more modern and advanced technologies such as 4G and 5G technologies. This will ensure that STC customers continue to enjoy the best possible experience with the network, as part of a comprehensive digital transformation journey.

“STC is a technology pioneer in the region and at a global level, and therefore, this move will cement its leadership status in the Kingdom and it will remain a dynamic role model for the operators in the region. The 4G and 5G technologies will provide an incentive for economic growth — at both the individual and enterprise level, supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Al-Dharrab said the technological advancements made by STC will help in transforming the digital landscape of the country and will also confirm STC’s position as a “world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to its customers and enabling digital transformation in the MENA region.”

The Saudi telecom giant has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the Kingdom. It has always invested in future technologies to ensure that it meets the growing needs of its customers. Over the last decade, wireless technology has changed dramatically and it has transformed the way people use telecom services and applications. Therefore, customers continue to demand faster speeds and increased data volumes, which resulted in a dramatic growth in data traffic.

Work on the “3G Sunset Program” has already started and is expected to be concluded in less than two years. These plans are helped by a declining number of customers still using 3G devices on the STC network. As part of this process, STC is committed to ensuring a smooth transition of all remaining 3G customers to 4G and 5G devices before the actual shutdown date in 2022.

The 3G freed spectrum will be reutilized for the new and more advanced technologies. STC has been directing investment in the 4G network over the last few years, delivering an enhanced 4G network, in terms of both coverage and quality. The company has the largest 4G customer base in the Kingdom.

STC also aims to become a pioneer in 5G technology. It has rolled out the 5G network in many parts of the Kingdom and will continue to expand its 5G footprint in the coming years. A number of 5G internet packages have been launched by the company, along with the introduction of compatible 5G devices (smartphones, routers, MiFi, etc.). The new and highly advanced 5G use cases are designed to benefit customers and industry verticals. The 5G service will offer the necessary high speed data, latency, security and reliability to support VoLTE voice services and cutting-edge “Industry 4.0” capabilities, incorporating advanced technologies such as AI, data analytics, IoT, and others.


Helicopter Company hauls largest airborne Saudi flag across the Kingdom’s skies

Updated 29 September 2020

Helicopter Company hauls largest airborne Saudi flag across the Kingdom’s skies

  • Impressive spectacle marked the start of a first-of-its-kind airshow, as part of the Kingdom’s 90th National Day celebrations

RIYADH: The Helicopter Company (THC) helped Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day Airshow get off to a flying start by displaying the largest airborne Saudi flag in the skies above the Kingdom.

The impressive spectacle marked the start of the first-of-its-kind event, which combined military and civil aviation displays in a single show. The week-long airshow, organized by the General Entertainment Authority, began in Jeddah on Sept. 21, before moving on to Riyadh and concluding in Al-Khobar.

It began with a THC AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter towing the 2,000-square-meter flag across the sky. At the end of each day’s airborne entertainment, THC took the skies again to display a banner decorated with the slogan of the 90th National Day, “mettle to the top.”

THC, which is wholly owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, recently launched its banner-towing service. It offers clients the chance to display messages and advertise products on huge customized banners towed across the sky by a helicopter. The company’s participation in the National Day Airshow was the first official use of the service. THC has also introduced aerial photography, in addition to other recently announced aerial business services.