STC extends Nokia contract for network upgrade

Having selected Huawei earlier in the month for the 3G network of its Al Jawal mobile operations, the Saudi incumbent has turned to Nokia for the HSDPA upgrade.

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By  Alex Ritman Published  July 16, 2006

Saudi incumbent operator STC has selected Nokia to upgrade the network of its mobile operation, Al Jawal. The deal will see parts of STC’s 3G network upgraded to HSDPA, which Nokia claims will allow Al Jawal customers to access new services such as a fast internet connection, video calls and music downloads. The operator has already launched WCDMA and HSDPA networks with infrastructure supplied by Nokia, and the new agreement extends the original agreement. The Finnish supplier supports the network via its Nokia NetAct network and services management system, and says it will also provide STC with services including network planning, telecom implementation, operations support, optimisation, and care. STC has adopted a multi-vendor approach with regard to its network infrastructure, and earlier this month selected Chinese vendor Huawei to deploy its recently announced 3G network on Huawei solutions. According to the contract, Huawei will supply a complete core network and new generation Node Bs. Al Jawal commercially launched its 3G network in May 2006, having started testing the technology last year. Once complete, it hopes to have the largest 3G network in the Middle East, eventually running at speeds of up to 1.5Mbps.

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