Around the world in 80 seconds – We take a look at some of the biggest stories from across the global telecoms industry this past weekend

Saudi Arabia -The Saudi Telecom Company has chosen Ericsson to assist with a nationwide expansion of Saudi Arabia’s 4G and LTE Advanced networks. 

“By making digital transformation real and effective for STC through 4G expansion, we will enable their customers to enjoy enriched experiences, whether that means lightning speed video and media access for subscribers, or IoT business innovation and opportunities for enterprises. Our partnership with STC shows 4G network evolution is already happening and paving the way for 5G,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, head of market area Middle East and Africa, Ericsson. 

The deal will lay the foundations for 5G roll out in The Kingdom, and will see Ericsson deploy its 5G-ready baseband hardware. 

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Azerbaijan – Turkcell and Telia Group have agreed to sell their combined 51.3% stake in Azeri telco Azercell for a price of €221.7m. The stake was acquired by state owned Azintelecom.

“It is satisfying that we are able to announce a joint agreement with Turkcell to sell Azercell in Azerbaijan. This is the fourth divestment in our effort to, over time, leave Eurasia and focus on the Nordic and Baltic regions within the framework of our New Generation Telco strategy. I would like to thank Azercell’s employees for their outstanding contributions and wish them all the best in the company’s next phase,” said Johan Dennelind, president and CEO of Telia Company, in a statement on March 5.

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Cuba – Cuba’s national telecoms operator, Etesca, has announced plans to roll out 3G coverage across the Caribbean island nation, having recently competed a campaign to install a series of base stations. 

3G is already available in the cities of Santiago and Camaguey, but nationwide roll out of 3G would mark a stark uplift in the quality of telecommunications in the country. The roll out of 3G across the country could open the door for far greater internet penetration across the Communist state. 

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Oman – Omantel and Huawei have signed a partnership to collaborate on smart city initiatives within The Sultanate. Omantel is set to launch its smart city initiative the capital, Muscat, in line with its Omantel 3.0 strategy. 

“We are delighted to partner with Huawei Enterprise to roll out our smart solutions in Al Mouj Muscat, Oman’s lifestyle destination. Omantel is committed to deliver a more enriching lifestyle for the public through smart solutions, and we will continue to partner with like-minded entities to further this vision in new locations across the Sultanate,” said Sheikh Talal Al Mamari, chief executive officer of Omantel.

“With Omantel ICT, we are focused on enhancing digital experiences by deploying state-of-the-art big data analytics platforms, Internet-of-Things-enabled solutions and pervasive software and hardware IT platforms to provide the best value for our customers and the public,” he added.

 Read the full story here…