Ericsson and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) have joined hands to enhance and evolve the telecommunications network in Saudi Arabia using Open Radio Access Network (RAN) principles. The partnership, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during LEAP 2024, Saudi Arabia’s premier technology event in Riyadh, aims to enhance the network’s flexibility and efficiency.

The collaboration marks a significant milestone in Mobily’s network evolution journey as it explores the potential of Open RAN technology in boosting 5G deployment options. With a focus on a flexible network architecture encompassing purpose-built RAN and Cloud RAN, the partners aim to segment the network effectively and identify prime locations for the deployment of Cloud RAN.

Ericsson’s Cloud RAN, based on cloud-native principles and Open RAN architecture, aligns with Mobily’s network evolution strategy. The standardized interfaces of Ericsson’s solution are compatible with the existing Ericsson Radio System products and solutions deployed across Mobily’s network, facilitating a seamless transition to Mobily’s preferred architecture.

Alaa Malki, Chief Technology Officer at Mobily, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 and establishing the Kingdom as a global technology hub. He emphasized Ericsson’s role as a trusted partner in accelerating Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation through network evolution.

Ekow Nelson, Vice President at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, highlighted the significance of the MoU in advancing Mobily’s network transformation journey. He emphasized the potential of Open RAN principles to unlock innovation opportunities and accelerate the Kingdom’s digitalization efforts.

The collaboration builds upon the long-standing partnership between Ericsson and Mobily, focused on optimizing connectivity, enhancing network performance, improving user experience, and promoting sustainability in the Kingdom. With a shared vision of leveraging cutting-edge technologies, the two companies are poised to drive the telecommunications sector forward in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious development goals.