Saudi Arabia’s STC expands LTE network

STC, the Saudi Arabian carrier, has added another five cities to its LTE network across the Kingdom, taking the total up to 11. The cities of Makkah, Madinah, Abha, Khamis Mushayt, Dhahran now have access to LTE, in addition to the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail, Al Khobar, Al Ahsa.

The carrier said that there were now 600 specific locations within these cities where LTE could be accessed and that it also offers HSPA+ to maintain high data speeds outside of the LTE areas.

STC is looking to emphasise its leading role in providing next generation mobile access in the region, and claims to be the first operator in the Middle East to deploy LTE, following a number of trials it in early 2010. However, rivals Mobily and Zain and Etisalat also claim to have been the first to launch LTE in the country.

STC and rival Etihad Etisalat are virtually neck and neck in terms of market share in Saudi Arabia, with the former just a shade behind with 39.76 per cent share, compared to the latter’s 39.8 per cent, according to Informa WCIS stats.

The LTE Middle East and North Africa conference takes place on the 29th-30th April, Westin Mina Seyali, Dubai, UAE. Go to the website to register your interest.

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