Industry Thought Leadership

stc Kuwait Deploys Fully Converged Core Network - First Full-Scale Deployment by Any Operator

June, 2022
Eng. Fahad Al Ali
Chief Technology Officer

stc Kuwait

Kuwait Telecommunications Company – stc, a world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to customers, enabling the digital transformation in Kuwait, announced the successful deployment of first fully 2G/3G/4G/5G NSA & 5G SA converged core “5GC” network in the region. All 2G/3G/4G/5G NSA & 5G SA services will be carried on the converged core network. stc has yet again solidified its position as the most technologically advanced operator in the region after being the first operator to launch 5G standalone network and announced readiness for Vo5G in the region as well one year ago. So far, only 3 operators from china in the whole world have successfully deployed a fully converged core network in their network and with this announcement, stc has become the first global operator to successfully deploy such a solution outside china.

In order to transform the digital services in the country, deployment of converged core by stc is a major development, as it will enable new innovative capabilities to serve the consumers and enterprises in Kuwait.

In 5G era, different core networks for 5G SA, 5G NSA as well as legacy networks such as 4G & 3G create complex network structures for operators. A complex web of internetworking between different core networks may result in not full utilization of operators’ capabilities in serving the customers. On the other hand, a fully converged core helps reduce inter-system communication between two generations of mobile networks. This means less number of handover are required which results into achieving significantly lower latency for end users and also improves the handover success rates thus ensuring an uninterrupted service experience. Also, as a latest core technology converged core allows 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G micro services to share hardware resources resulting in making new innovative services more affordable for end customers.

Today’s announcement of successful deployment of fully converged core network has opened new avenues and will bring new services to consumers and opportunities to enterprises to serve their customers in innovative ways. The converged core solution deployed by stc KW provides us with new capabilities to serve the customers looking towards a path of digital transformation. With this new deployment, stc can provide consumers with ultra-reliable high speed connectivity over 5G, offer new charging models as suitable and demanded by customers. For enterprises, stc will now be able to provide advanced slicing offers, which can provide priority differentiation based on customers’ requirements.

For deploying the converged core, stc has chosen a solution, which is based on micro service architecture which ensures that the network is scalable and always ready to accommodate an ever growing number of users. The solution has built in infrastructure & link fault redundancies built into it making it ultra-reliable. stc’s converged core network solution not only supports 5G SA & 5G NSA architectures but also 2G,3G & 4G networks making it capable to deliver growing digital transformation demands from customers while delivering an excellent user experience and reducing the time to market for new digital services.

In addition to launching 5G one Core and Vo5G, stc has also enabled next generation of encryption of user identity on its network using Subscription Concealed Identifier (SUCI). Every user on mobile network has unique identity knowns as IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity). Under previous generations, the identity is concealed with a temporary identified, which may be prone to malicious attacks. With SUCI, stc network will encrypt all user identification before it leaves the device making it much more secure from advanced cyber-attacks.

“Having launched first ever commercial end to end 5G SA network in MENA region last year and now becoming first to deploy first fully converged core network which supports secured Vo5G with latest releases of secured SIM/eSIM technology shows our relentless pursuit to offer cutting edge digital services to consumers and enterprises in Kuwait. I am confident that today’s launch will serve as a major step towards enabling a digital Kuwait of future and towards realizing vision 2035” said, Eng. Fahad Abdul Rahman Al Ali, CTO, stc Kuwait.

stc being the 1st operator in the region in adopting a fully converged core has shown its commitment towards development of telecommunications in the state of Kuwait & assisting the government in realizing the vision of a digitally transformed Kuwait.