stc and Rakuten Mobile Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Riyadh and Tokyo, October 12, 2020 – stc and Rakuten Mobile, Inc. announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim of collaborating in the field of innovation and strategic mobile technology. The two companies will explore future opportunities to collaborate in various technology domains, including, fully autonomous digital platform serving telecommunication cloud network, OpenRAN deployment options for greenfield and brownfield use-cases, operating models and business value realization.

With the signing of this MoU, stc and Rakuten Mobile aim to accelerate the delivery of mobile network services through the use of open technology that will facilitate and revolutionize wireless infrastructure. The new OpenRAN mobile access technology promises to improve the quality of many real-time services.

 Eng. Nasser S. Al Nasser, Group CEO, stc, said: “this MoU aims to expand our global partnerships and help diversify our strategic growth. We are confident this MoU will bring tangible results in terms of developing a new advance technology strategy and accelerating the early deployment of novel and sophisticated services. This is a vital role for us, as we continue with our Digital Transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, serving the 2030 vision.”

 “We are very excited about collaborating with stc and sharing our know-how of building new-generation telecommunication infrastructure,” said Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc. and CEO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc. “We believe that our open architecture and advanced OpenRAN technologies will help define a new generation of operators who are ideally positioned to place advanced customer experience and differentiated profitable services at the center of their offering.”

Rakuten Mobile, Inc., a subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc. a leading global internet services company headquartered in Tokyo, launched its commercial mobile operations in April this year, becoming the fourth mobile operator in Japan.  Rakuten’s network is the world’s first cloud-native, software-centric and fully virtualized mobile network. This innovative approach to building mobile networks brings both cost and operational efficiencies, as well as speed in deploying new services and generating additional revenue streams for the operator.

The new emerging technologies are also promising to deliver cost effective solutions in a quick and efficient manner. The signing of this MoU is in alignment with stc’s strategic drive for a strong digital future, while augmenting the Digital Transformation strategy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The two companies will be making further public announcements about progress and the accomplishment of their joint and collaborative efforts.

 About stc
With its headquarter in Riyadh, stc group is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa based on market cap. stc’s revenue for 2019 amounted to 54,376 million SAR (14,500 million US dollars) and the net profit amounted to 10,755 million SAR (2,868 million US dollars).  stc was established in 1998 and currently has customers around the globe. It is ranking among the world’s top 50 digital companies and the first in the Middle East and North Africa according to Forbes. It focuses on providing services to enterprise and consumer customers through a fiber-optic network that spans 217,000 kilometers. stc group was among the first in MENA region to launch 5G networks and was considered one of the fastest globally in deploying 5G network as stc already deployed 2300 5G towers during 2019. stc group has 14 subsidiaries in the Kingdom, gulf and around the world, and its own 100% of stc Bahrain, 51.8% stake in stc Kuwait and 25% stake in Binariang GSM Holding in Malaysia which owns 62% of Maxis in Malaysia.

 In Saudi Arabia (the group’s main operation site) stc operates the largest modern mobile network in the Middle East as it covers more than 99% of the country’s populated areas in addition to providing 4G mobile broadband to about 90% of the population across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to the above-mentioned, stc is a strong regional player in IoT, managed services, system integration, cloud computing, information security, big data Analytics fintech and artificial intelligence.

 About Rakuten Mobile
Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is a Rakuten Group company responsible for mobile communications, including mobile network operator (MNO) and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) businesses, as well as ICT and energy. Through continuous innovation and the deployment of advanced technology, Rakuten Mobile aims to redefine expectations in the mobile communications industry in order to provide appealing and convenient services that respond to diverse customer needs.


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