stc Group has announced its largest ever expansion of the fifth-generation network, with investments being made to develop and expand the existing network to cover more than 75 cities and governorates of Saudi Arabia. This project builds on the group’s success in delivering 5G network technologies to more than 90 percent of its locations in major cities. The investments made by stc will contribute to developing the digital economy, supporting local content, creating quality jobs, and enhancing people’s lives digitally. This is all in line with the group’s expansion and growth strategy.

In 2018, stc launched the 5G network in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone that initiated a historic transformation in communications and information technology in the Kingdom and the region. Currently, stc is working toward achieving digital transformation at every level, being the most prominent leader of the ICT sector in the region. The group is currently carrying out the most extensive expansion of their 5G network, which will enhance the infrastructure, making it more robust and advanced than ever, thus promising to enrich user experience. The 5G network is the beating heart of the fourth industrial revolution, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and a significant driver of national digital transformation.

More than 35 percent of the population in Saudi Arabia’s five major cities, namely Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Dammam, were provided with 5G service by stc in 2019. The 5G service was extended to 75 cities nationwide the following year. The expansion of the 5G network continued and was further accelerated by stc’s “Dare” strategy, which comprised four pillars: expanding in size and scope, renewing the experience, digitizing stc, and performing faster than before. In 2022, the proportion of mobile sites with 5G surpassed 90 percent of locations in major cities, achieving a significant milestone.

stc is committed to providing the latest digital solutions and technologies to keep up with the world’s desired digital development. It also recognizes the importance of improving energy efficiency, a critical aspect of strategic sustainability for all its operations and subsidiaries. Despite the dual challenge of expanding its business while consuming energy, stc is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on energy-efficient and renewable solutions for more than 16,000 towers undergoing 5G expansion.

TAWAL, a leading ICT infrastructure company and an stc subsidiary, achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. This was made possible by adopting innovative and eco-friendly practices. The reduction was measured cumulatively and amounted to around 30 percent compared to the baseline.

Today, TAWAL has more than 16,000 towers, but the company has successfully decreased the number of diesel-powered plants from 1,718 to 1,045, showing its dedication to environmental preservation.

TAWAL has implemented various internal strategies to enhance the participation of local resources, which has now surpassed 69 percent. The company has received the local content certificate from the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.

The expansion of 5G is expected to have various implications, including an increase in digital projects that will benefit from the high speeds provided by this technology. For example, InspireU, an accelerator affiliated with stc, provides advanced technical solutions for incubated projects. 

Till date, startups incubated by inspireU have had investments and financial transactions reaching a market value of SR12 billion ($3.1 billion), and have created more than 600,000 direct and indirect jobs. Additionally, inspireU’s entrepreneurial projects have benefited more than 40 million users.


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