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STC and Nokia achieve milestone with testing of 5G private wireless network

The collaboration aims to dramatically change the way enterprises in various sectors deploy and manage their private wireless networks.

STC and Nokia have reached a significant milestone by conducting successful trials of a 5G private wireless network based on cloud-native O-RAN technology. This trial, hosted on Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus, Microsoft’s carrier-grade cloud platform, marks a significant achievement for both companies and reinforces STC’s position as a leading technology provider in the region.

The accomplishment not only validates STC’s prowess in technological advancements but also empowers businesses to expedite their digital transformation efforts, seizing the opportunities presented by the burgeoning 5G landscape. Furthermore, it signifies a crucial stride in STC’s journey towards realising the DARE strategy, aimed at offering unparalleled digital services and fostering new ways of working.

This collaboration seeks to revolutionise the deployment and management of private wireless networks across various sectors. Leveraging O-RAN technology, STC aims to introduce openness, virtualisation, flexibility, and interoperability to enterprise networks, enhancing connectivity, performance, and agility.

The trial, conducted in an over-the-air environment, featured Nokia’s O-RAN 7-2x Compliant Radios and virtual Distributed/Centralised Units (vDU/vCU) running on Azure Operator Nexus hosted on the HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen11 server with In-Line L1 acceleration. It showcased an Augmented Reality use case for industrial applications, highlighting the potential and versatility of the jointly developed solution.

The synergy between STC’s telecommunications expertise, Nokia’s leading solutions, and Microsoft’s hybrid cloud infrastructure forms a formidable alliance poised to shape the future of private wireless networks.

Haithem M. Alfaraj, GCTO at STC, said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the telecommunications industry. Our collaboration with Nokia and Microsoft underscores our commitment to driving digital transformation and enabling our customers to leverage the full potential of advanced technologies as part of our R&D development with our partners and hyperscalers. By harnessing the capabilities of O-RAN and cloud computing, STC can drive innovation, enable advanced Industry 4.0 applications, and unlock new business opportunities.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, added: “We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative that brings together the best of our technologies and expertise. The successful trial of the O-RAN-based 5G Private Wireless Network over Microsoft Azure showcases the potential of open and scalable networks combined with cloud capabilities. This achievement is a significant step forward in enabling enterprises to unlock the benefits of private wireless networks and embrace digital transformation.”

Shawn Hakl, VP of 5G Strategy, Azure for Operators at Microsoft, stated: “We are pleased to be working with STC and Nokia to deliver the O-RAN based 5G Private Wireless Network using Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus. This milestone demonstrates the power of combining cloud computing and advanced wireless technologies to drive innovation and empower businesses. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with stc and Nokia to help enterprises across various sectors harness the full potential of 5G and the cloud.”