Nokia Trials LTE Air-to-Ground Technology in Saudi Arabia
Monday, October 15, 2018 | Comments

Nokia and STC Business signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the launch of the air-to-ground pilot network in Saudi Arabia. The two companies conducted a trial of Nokia's Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based air-to-ground solution in a flight from Riyadh to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

This trial network is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) after the launch of the hybrid satellite and air-to-ground European Aviation Network in February, Nokia said.

Under the scope of the MoU, the two companies identified key areas of cooperation and are working to build a commercial strategy to better serve the interests of customers by providing them with superior in-flight connectivity. Nokia and STC will also work together on the network managed services and rollout for the air-to-ground services across the STC Group.

For the trial network, Nokia provided a fully dedicated end-to-end network, including Nokia's LTE air-to-ground radio access network, core infrastructure and applications. Nokia's professional services team deployed specialized air-to-ground sites and carried out extensive testing to ensure a successful trial. Thales, Nokia's technology partner for aviation equipment, provided the onboard equipment for the trial network.

“The air-to-ground technology will enable STC to provide new and revolutionary services for their customers and add new revenue streams,” said Mohamed Abdelrehim, head of end-to-end sales solutions for Nokia MEA. “With high-speed and low-latency broadband, airline passengers will be able to communicate with their loved ones or for business without any disruption because of air travel. Also, the airline crew will be able to improve operational efficiency because of better real-time communication between the flight crew and ground staff."

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