Saudi’s Aramco Digital plans private 5G play after 450MHz award

Saudi’s Aramco Digital plans private 5G play after 450MHz award

The Saudi Arabian Communications, Space & Technology Commission (CST) has announced that Aramco Digital, the digital technology services subsidiary of state-owned Saudi oil and gas company Saudi Aramco, has obtained what is called a Specialized Radio Network Licence in the 450MHz band.

CST says the award came after Aramco Digital completed the required regulatory procedures for the licence. The 450MHz band is not available for public telecoms operations.

The license aims to establishing a dedicated network, independent from mobile networks, operating on the latest global wireless technologies. This network will aim to cater to the specialised needs of various industrial and business sectors. 

In its announcement CST notes that the licence “will advance the digital transformation within industrial, energy, transportation, healthcare and other national sectors, in addition to enabling the 4th industrial revolution applications and industrial internet of things (IIoT)”.

Writing on LinkedIn, Tareq Amin, Aramco Digital CEO, says: “Aramco Digital will deploy a future-proof mission-critical mobile network incorporating state-of-the-art technologies” and talks about the “creation of a horizontal telco cloud… powered by Aramco Digital’s secure public cloud”, and an Aramco Digital-curated shop window – called Nawat and using the app store model in consumer gadgetry – of enterprise applications and solutions, for sundry Industry 4.0 use cases.

He explains: “Nawat allows enterprises to consume industrial digitalisation use cases on an as-a-service basis, and fosters the creation of a large and open ecosystem of enterprises, independent software vendors, application service providers and independent developers.”

RCR Wireless News says that it is unclear whether Saudi Aramco will sub-let local tranches of the 450MHz band for standalone enterprise networks or attach and reinforce localised enterprise networks to a dedicated nationwide industrial 5G infrastructure.

As Mobile World Live notes, Saudi oil giant Aramco launched its digital arm in 2023. It announced the appointment of former Rakuten Symphony boss Amin to head up the company shortly after.

It also points out that at MWC Barcelona 2024, Amin outlined a vision for the company to develop software platforms and push a private 5G play, rather than enter the consumer mobile segment.


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