Huawei-built 5G SA sees stc take decisive lead
The kingdom of Bahrain has its first 5G Standalone (5G SA) network, which was built for mobile operator stc Bahrain by Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei. The network will offer both consumers and enterprises high-resolution video, virtual reality, augmented reality and multimedia and online data communication. As a small archipelago in the Persian Gulf, made up of 50 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, Bahrain Island dominates the territory and makes up around 83 percent of the country’s landmass. It is here that stc will provide most of the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra reliable ultra low latency comms (URLLc) and massive machine typcommunications (mMTC) services will improve public security, transports, banking and consumer services.
stc pushing tech boundaries
Bahrain neighbours Qatar and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the King Fahd Causeway, is a relatively small nation with a population of 1,501,635 in the 2020 census. However, it has big ambitions, according stc CEO Nezar Banabeela. “stc Bahrain has consistently been at the forefront of pushing latest technologies beyond just mere enhancements to approaching capabilities closer to fully fledged 5G,” said Banabeela, “through this achievement, we are laying the foundation for further milestones, service availability and inclusivity of the fundamental capabilities that is included in stc Bahrain network to cover all the forecasted 5G network use cases.”
The capital and largest city in Bahrain is Manama and Banabeela said that mobile edge computing and ‘uplink centric’ broadband connectivity will support advanced network-functions in the kingdom’s manufacturing, petroleum, port, healthcare and education sectors. “stc Bahrain has taken an early and decisive lead in 5G rollout, having already covered half the nation with the latest wireless technology,” said Banabeela.
Since its establishment, stc has worked hand in hand with the Bahrain Telecom Regulatory Authority to transform Bahrain’s telecoms, according to Banabeela. In June 2018 it achieved a milestone by becoming one of the first countries in the world to introduce 5G elements across its national network. In 2019, it adopted the latest 5G core technologies, spectrum sharing between LTE and 5G, the latest spectrum management technologies and agile transport layer technologies using Huawei’s solutions, Banabeela claimed.
Speed and premium services
“In addition to data speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, we’ve developed a wide range of premium home broadband services and devices to enhance the home broadband experience alongside unlimited Internet,” said Banabeela. Huawei Bahrain CEO Ethan Sunxiaofei described stc Bahrain as a strategic partner to the Chinese state-owned equipment supplier. “It will form the future networks that relies on a combination of mainstream and alternative technologies across efficient spectrum use together with AI and Cloud,” said Sunxiaofei.