stc Expands Network and Data Center Infrastructure in the Middle East

Infinera’s ICE6 800G-capable technology will be deployed on stc’s submarine cable networks. The technology would allow the telecommunications and wholesale service provider for the Middle East region to roll-out new regional and international connectivity services and infrastructure development including the development of cognitive cities. At the same time, stc is adding 125MW of data center capacity to the region.

Using Infinera’s ICE6 800G-capable technology and Infenera’s GX Series Compact Modular Platform, the development project would increase the capacity of stc’s international network by 10-fold based on initial design capacity.

This significant increase in network capacity will fulfill constantly increasing bandwidth needs by offering the most capacity at the farthest reach, resulting in cheaper cost and power per bit as well as improved spectral efficiency.

“With rapid increase in demand and the requirement to accelerate and strengthen connectivity between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Europe, Infinera’s 800G submarine network solution will enable us to meet the exponential growth of international connectivity while improving reliability,” said Mohammed A. Alabbadi, Chief Wholesale Officer at stc. “ICE6 will also enable the expansion and diversification of cloud services in the region and around the world, and this technology is ideal for our upcoming projects 2Africa and Saudi Vision Cable.”

Bandwidth Demands in the Middle East

Founded in 1998, stc (Saudi Telecom  Company) is a telecommunications company in the Middle East region counting more that 18,000 employees and delivering services in the field of mobile, broadband, Internet and digital transformation.

Infinera is a global provider of open optical networking technologies that help carriers, cloud providers, governments, and businesses expand network capacity, expedite service innovation, and simplify network operations. Long-haul, submarine, data center interconnect, and metro transport applications would all benefit from Infinera’s “industry-leading” economics and performance.

“stc’s selection of Infinera’s GX Series Compact Modular Platform featuring ICE6 technology sets them up for success to meet growing bandwidth demands in the Middle East,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Infinera. “ICE6 provides stc with the greatest spectral efficiency and best overall economics, which will enable stc to deliver on critical projects in the region. This initiative will pave the way for new and exciting digital opportunities throughout the Middle East.”

stc’s ERA Data Center Construction Program

Photo Haithem Alfaraj, CTO at stc
“We have big plans for our data centers to become a gateway for the MENA infrastructure,” said Haithem Alfaraj, CTO at stc.

stc is now also implementing Phase 3 of its new ERA Data Center Construction Program with Phase 1 completed in 2019 and Phase 2 already is in the final commissioning stage. The Tier III upgraded data centers in the Middle East are part of stc’s greater aim to deliver best-in-class digital and communications services across the Kingdom, with a maximum capacity of 125 MW and an assigned land scape area of more than 180,000 square meters.

The stc cloud-enabled data center initiative in the Middle East consists of 16 data centers with a total capacity of 17,000 racks, with eight simultaneous projects spread over different zones in six cities. Across key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, the initiative will build vital digital availability zones that will provide a full spectrum of services, as well as the highest security and service management, as well as asset safety measures.

Phase 3 is projected to be finished in 12 months, with a total IT compute power capacity of 125 MW and a greater vision for future growth in only 8 months, with Phase 1 completed in 2019 and Phase 2 in the final stages of commissioning.

“We have big plans for our data centers to become a gateway for the MENA infrastructure. stc is now established to be the leading data platform in the region and supporting the demand for international connectivity,” said Haithem Alfaraj, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at stc. “We aim not only to build new data centers but also expand our existing ones to ensure stc is fully equipped to meet the future growing demands of our customers. stc is geared up to grow-on-demand with its unique data center solution, by easily replicating a standardized design, that could exceed 300MW of our current computing power capacity by reacting quickly to the market.”