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To provide telecom and broadband to over 444 thousand homes

Ministry of ICT inks agreement with STC to implement Phase III of wireless services project in remote areas

25 Nov 2018
Ministry of ICT inks agreement with STC to implement Phase III of wireless services project in remote areas
Ministry of ICT inks agreement with STC to implement Phase III of wireless services project in remote areas

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) signed an agreement with the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) on November 17, 2018, to implement the third phase of the initiative to stimulate investment in the deployment of telecom and wireless broadband services in remote areas -villages and hamlets- in a number of Saudi Arabia’s provinces. The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Communications and Information Technology His Excellency Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Telecom Group His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Khaled Al-Faisal Al Saud, Governor of Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Ruwais, and a number of senior officials of both parties.

The agreement was signed by Eng. Abdullah Al-Kanhal, Deputy Minister for Communications and Digital Infrastructure, and Abdullah Al-Zamami, Vice President of STC for Infrastructure.

On the agreement, Minister Al-Swaha pointed out that this agreement came as part of the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to provide telecommunications and broadband services in all regions of the Kingdom in line with the Vision 2030 that is built around three themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. He noted that the National Transformation Program 2020, geared for achieving the Vision’s strategic goals, entrusted the Ministry the strategic goal of developing the digital economy through the development of the digital infrastructure necessary to achieve the targeted digital society, digital government and digital economy.

Al-Swaha stressed the importance of the initiative to stimulate investment in the deployment of telecom and wireless broadband services in remote areas as one of the most important initiatives in achieving the goal of developing the digital economy in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the deployment of wireless telecom and high-speed wireless broadband network (more than 10 Mbps), to cover 70% of rural homes in remote villages and hamlets by 2020, stimulate investment in infrastructure on concessional terms, develop regulatory and technical tools and frameworks, and provide support to operators in return for meeting the deployment milestones of telecom and broadband network deployment in remote areas.

The initiative aims at addressing the urgent need for villages and hamlets to high-speed Internet networks, expanding the coverage of high-speed Internet in remote areas that were less than 1% before the launch of the initiative, and encouraging investment in telecom and broadband networks in villages and hamlets to ensure continuity of telecom and Internet services. 

In the third phase, the initiative aims to cover 444,076 homes and benefit more than 2.5 million citizens and residents in over 3,000 villages and hamlets in the provinces of Riyadh, Qassim, Makkah, Madinah, Baha, Tabuk, Jazan, Hail and Asir, in order to continue the process of development and growth throughout the country, and to contribute to building an ambitious digital homeland.

In July 2018, the second and third phases were completed by accomplishing a number of wireless broadband deployment projects in remote areas. The two phases covered more than 16% of homes in remote areas, including about 128,000 homes inhabited by more than 700,000 citizens and residents in over 700 villages and hamlets in Riyadh Province, Eastern Province, Makkah Province, Asir Province, Northern Border Province, and Jouf Province.

Ministry of ICT Minister of ICT Vision 2030 National Transformation Program Wireless Broadband

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