The Global Mobile Forum, MWC2020, awarded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the pioneering government award for its excellence and in appreciation of its efforts in adopting best policies and regulations in support of digital economy, stimulating investment and creativity, and contributing to achieving sustainable development goals, as well as applying international best practices in the telecom and information technology sector, such as its commitment to the principle of transparency, and the inclusion of public views, in addition to organizational independence.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Engineer Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawah, expressed his happiness with the award, dedicating this achievement, as well as the rest of the achievements by the communications and information technology sector, to the wise leadership for their strong support and eagerness. He pointed out that the continuous development and remarkable growth that the sector has achieved has made it one of the most important sources of support for the economic, cultural and development sectors in the Kingdom.
He expressed his pride and pride in the qualitative shift and the great leap that the sector witnessed in the Kingdom in a short period, describing it as a result of a distinguished partnership with the private sector and support of all government agencies, which contributed to making the Kingdom at the forefront and in the ranks of developed countries in this field.
Minister Al-Sawah said that this global award is added to the record of the march of the telecommunications and information technology sector in the Kingdom, which possesses an advanced digital structure, legislation and regulations commensurate with the vision of the Kingdom 2030 and the global developments, noting that his award will be a catalyst to move forward in the digital march that aims to take advantage of the outputs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and employ them to serve the country and the citizen.
The Kingdom is one of the first countries to launch the fifth generation service, as the number of towers supplying this technology reached 6500 towers, in addition to 541 stations in Makkah Al Mukarramah and Nayum Airport, which made the Kingdom the first in the region to cover the fifth generation, and as a result of reducing service delivery fees and budgeting broadband fees, the telecom market in the Kingdom witnessed a 32% increase.
The development of this vital and important sector has also been accompanied by a massive spread of wireless broadband services in non-urban areas from 1% to 42%, moreover, the speed of the mobile internet has doubled to 57.46 Mbps, which contributed to the Kingdom getting rank 12 globally in this regard.
The Kingdom also achieved an increase in the penetration of wireless broadband service in non-urban areas (villages and desertions) from 0.6% to 48% in addition to increasing the coverage of the fourth generation service from 83% to 91%, and doubling the speed of the mobile internet about 5 times due to the freeing of more than 1100 GHz from the frequency spectrum and making it available to operators, which made the Kingdom occupy the second position in the group of twenty countries in freeing the spectrum, and with this speed it exceeded the global average by approximately 80%.
The Kingdom also achieved 100% of the population’s coverage of mobile phone services through comprehensive service. The year before the previous year covered nearly 20 thousand residential areas with basic services, and the Kingdom’s ranking in adopting communications and information technologies rose 16 ranks within the global competitiveness index in 2019, mainly driven by the increased penetration of mobile broadband and the increase in the number of Internet users.