World's first live 5G standalone roaming connection

BICS has established the world’s first ever intercontinental 5G standalone roaming connection, between two live networks in Europe and the Middle East

The connection, which was established and announced by BICS, has demonstrated successful roaming between the 5G standalone (SA) networks of Belgian mobile operator Proximus (the parent company of BICS) and the Middle East-based operator stc Kuwait

This is a significant breakthrough for global telecoms, as the first of its kind to be completed in a non-lab environment.

Bringing the power of 5G connectivity to international telecoms

Before this advancement, global operators have only been able to deliver 5G non-standalone (NSA) roaming that routes traffic through a 4G/LTE core. 

So, the establishment of 5G SA roaming represents critical progress towards the readiness of international 5G SA services and use cases.

“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,” commented Mikaël Schachne, VP Telco Market at BICS. 

“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.”

“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,” added Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus.


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