Saudi Arabia-based telecom company STC is planning to phase out 3G in the kingdom to make way for 4G and 5G technology, the media reported.
The project by STC, which is called the ‘3G sunset program’ is expected to end in 2022. It aims for a smooth transition of all remaining 3G customers to its 4G and 5G networks in the next two years.
According to reports in the media, the 3G freed spectrum will be reutilized for the new and more advanced technologies.
Khaled Al Dharrab, infrastructure VP at STC, told the media, “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.”
Earlier this month, STC signed a five-year master frame agreement with Nokia. According to the deal, STC will acquire Nokia’s latest equipment, software, and services in order to enhance 5G deployment in the kingdom.
STC has already rolled out 5G in many parts of Saudi Arabia last year.