STC: investments in infrastructure

Dr. Khaled Biyari, Group CEO of STC talks about investments in infrastructure improvements.

Dr. Khaled Biyari, Group CEO of STC talks about investments in infrastructure improvements.

Can you talk about the recent investments in infrastructure improvements?

The explosion in data usage brings a lot of pressure on our networks, which is our core asset, and we want to ensure that our network is the best in the region. This drives our investment decisions. As a result, STC has been investing heavily in rolling out the 4G network to ensure there is enough capacity to keep up with demand. This means that most of our radio-based stations serving our mobile network need to move to fiber, while simultaneously expanding our fiber network to provide both residential and business customers with connectivity.

Some other major investments that STC is making now include WiFi-offloading, a cloud marketplace, and BSSs. In order to reduce the load on our mobile network, we started a WiFi-offloading network in late 2014. In certain areas (hospitals, malls, and universities) where our customers are largely stationary, we would like to offload traffic to a fixed network in order to serve customers through a Wi-Fi network.

STC is investing heavily in data centers, expanding them and providing regional coverage for our enterprise customers. We also introduced the STC cloud marketplace a few weeks back. The cloud offering is bringing a state-of-the-art network to the market, and will change how customers look at their ICT requirements. This is not limited to connectivity; we are taking a new approach in providing the customer with a one-stop-shop in for ITC services, infrastructure, and even applications through a cloud.

STC then started a very courageous transformation program to scrutinize the business support systems (BSSs). Historically speaking, incumbent operators deal with the legacy of multiple CRM systems that used to serve various aspects of their businesses. The challenge now is serving our customers with a unified support system. We embarked upon a major program last year to merge our BSS systems into a new integrated one, which required a comprehensive revision of our business processes and technology infrastructure.

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