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BICS sets up world’s first live intercontinental 5G standalone roaming connection

Megan Robinson
November 24, 2022

The connectivity between the two networks can be hosted on BICS’ IPX network for faster and more efficient implementation and management

BICS, an international connectivity and 5G enabler, has set up the first ever intercontinental 5G standalone (SA) roaming connection between two live networks in Europe and Asia.

The connection is the first of its kind to be carried out in a non-lab environment, and it showcased roaming between Belgian mobile operator Proximus’ 5G SA network and the Middle-East based digital solutions and telecommunications stc Kuwait’s 5G SA network.

Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus, the parent company of BICS, said: “The roaming test represents a huge watershed moment for Proximus in our 5G roll-out. Our goal is to bring next-generation experiences to our customers. 

“5G roaming plays a major role in delivering on that promise. We are excited to have reached this stage through our partnership with stc and BICS, and now look ahead to rolling out the opportunities of 5G Standalone for the benefits of our customers and enterprises alike.”

Mohammed N. Al-Nusif, Chief Executive Officer of solutions by stc, added: “While this breakthrough is significant for the industry as a whole, it is also great news for stc’s customers. This new roaming connection with BICS and Proximus means it is now the first to offer 5G roaming spanning the widest coverage area across the world.

“It’s going to bring stc customers exceptional connectivity at high-data speeds and offer them the same 4G and 5G data plans at no additional costs when abroad.”

Paving the way for 5G

BICS continues to drive 5G adoption as last year it announced the first successful 5G lab trial, as well as borderless 5G connectivity to its IoT SIM card solution

Mikaël Schachne, VP Telco Market at BICS, commented: “Until now, operators around the world have only been delivering 5G Non-standalone (NSA) roaming that routes traffic through 4G/LTE core. This is the first time anyone has ever carried out a successful live connection across borders using 5G Standalone. 

“By establishing 5G SA roaming, we’ve broken down the barriers to bring the power of this technology to international communications. This is an important step for the industry, and accelerates the benefits of 5G to potential consumers and enterprises around the world.”

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