stc Group signs MoU to join the GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Programme for the first time MENA

stc Group has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the GSMA with the intent of joining the GSMA Asia Pacific (APAC) IoT Partnership Programme, one of the most extensive Internet of Things (IoT) communities worldwide. By signing this memo, stc Group becomes the first mobile network operator (MNO) region-wide to join the program.

The GSMA is an industry organization that globally represents the interests of mobile network operators and the broader ecosystem. The GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Programme brings together around 500 partners to coordinate efforts and discuss best practices on the development of IoT technologies.

Dimitris G. Lioulias, Strategy VP in stc, said: “This partnership will reinforce stc Group’s strategy of building a strong IoT ecosystem and provide our partners and customer with first-class IoT solutions. Bringing this program to our region will facilitate the sharing of best practices and leverage the collective capabilities for the benefit of our society”.

“With our operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait as well as all our Local Affiliates who operate in many areas and technology environments, we will be closely working with GSMA, all the members and partners for building a solid platform of collaboration around Digitalization, IoT, 5G and all the strategic Topics that enhance our positioning and Leadership within our respective countries,” said Faisal Aldughaither, stc Group Synergy GM.

“We welcome stc Group, the first MENA mobile network operator, to join our APAC IoT Partnership Programme,” said David Turkington, Head Of Technology GSMA Asia Pacific. “Innovative IoT solutions have massive potential and promise to transform societies and economies. stc Group’s leadership will strongly support IoT adoption across the region.”

stc Group, the region’s principal digital enabler, is increasingly relying on frontier technologies, such as IoT, cloud computing and cybersecurity, to drive its business and sustain its social impact.

The GSMA APAC IoT Partnership Programme includes more than 36 mobile operators. The programme brings operators and their partners together, including developers, manufacturers and system integrators to share best practices, discuss challenges and progress updates on the development of IoT across the region. APAC has the largest IoT market in the world and is expected to reach 11 billion connections by 2025 and be worth $386 billion, according to GSMA Intelligence.
The APAC region is the fastest-growing IoT market in the world, accounting for approximately 40 per cent of the total global IoT spend in 2018. Global Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) or Mobile IoT network connections have also been driven primarily by the APAC region accounting for nearly 97 per cent of all NB-IoT connections according to ABI Research. Mobile IoT networks are being merged into 5G standards to support low latency, massive IoT and large bandwidth. Thirty-seven of the world’s 119 Mobile IoT networks are also deployed in APAC, across 15 countries.