Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha has said that Saudi Arabia is one of the first countries to launch the fifth generation mobile network (5G).
The news came during Al-Sawaha’s address on Tuesday to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. It reflected the progress achieved by the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to support digital transformation in the Kingdom, he said.
The event, organized by the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), is the largest global gathering for officials and specialists in the sector. It brings together experts, engineers and leaders of major telecommunications, information technology companies and smartphone companies from around the world.
“Saudi Arabia is looking forward to being the first in the region to launch this technology through implementing several initiatives to provide 5G network services as it allows for the use of many of the advanced technologies that rely on 5G, such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality, robotics, smart cities, and other modern futuristic technologies,” he said.
Al-Sawaha said that by 2030, the 5G network is expected to contribute to creating more than $8 billion in revenues in the telecom market and more than $19 billion to the GDP, in addition to creating about 20,000 new jobs in ICT fields and supporting 45 million new Internet of Things devices, creating a market worth more than $12 billion by 2030.
At the congress, the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) signed a “Aspiration Project” contract with Huawei on wireless network modernization and 5G network construction.
Huawei will support STC to introduce global partners to KSA for the 5G ecosystem, and deliver high-quality services to Saudi citizens and enterprises, and maximize investment efficiency in terms of capital and operations spend.
Nasser Al-Nasser, chief executive officer, STC, said: “STC is committed to pioneering 5G Network development and deployment to deliver the pledged ‘fully digitized society’ in KSA. We have already put ourselves on the road to pioneer and shape the future of 5G services in KSA and beyond. Our collaborations with our international partners will only enhance and push forward the boundaries for our 5G ambitions.”
Charles Yang, president, Middle East Region, Huawei, said: “STC and Huawei share a common understanding of industry trends and national vision.”