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Patronized, attended by Minister of Communications

CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’

08 Apr 2018
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’
CITC holds ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’

Under the patronage of His Excellency Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) held in Riyadh recently the ‘ICT Market Indicators Forum’. The event was attended by Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Ruwais, Governor of CITC, and Dr. Fahad Al-Tekhaifi, President of General Authority for Statistics, in addition to a number of persons interested and specialized in indicators and statistics relevant to the ICT sector.

Initiating the forum, the Minister delivered a speech in which he emphasized that the ICT sector is a major partner in the development of the present and building the future, noting that the strategy of the ICT sector focuses on the development of the present depending on three strategic pillars (infrastructure, digital environment and digital culture) in order to attain the three outputs of the national digital agenda for building the future, as well as creating a digital society, a digital economy, and a digital government.

Eng. Al-Swaha added that work is going with respect to the journey of future development, indicating that regarding the first pillar (digital infrastructure), the ministry has been able to improve the availability, competitiveness and quality of services, where the populated areas covered with 3G technology reached about 97% while those covered with 4G is approximately 85%. He also stated that the quality has been improved, as shown in all international reports between early and late 2017, indicating that the Internet speed has doubled, thanks to the liberalization and multiplication of the frequency spectrum for the ICT sector, in addition to the deployment of the fiber-optic, where the baseline was 23% at early 2017, raised to 30% currently by covering over 300,000 households. “We aspire to reach 2 million households in 2020,” said Al-Swaha.

As for the competition, Al-Swaha pointed out that there are five operators, two of which are MVNOs, and the ministry is always striving to sustain a dynamic market that helps to provide the best services at the right prices for customers and is working hard to monitor the market to ensure these outputs and enhance competitiveness.

With regard to the next stage for the infrastructure, Al-Swaha stated that laws and bylaws have been developed for the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, and offered them to public consultation. The pilot tests for the 5G telecom services have been launched by the three operators and we aspire that the Kingdom will always be in the forefront in activating the 5G services before 2020. His Excellency stressed that the second pillar is related to the digital environment through which we aspire to develop competencies, provide quality jobs and localize digital content, where we are working hard to train 20,000 national cadres, and about 3,000 trainees have started training with our private sector partners in emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and data analysis.

Furthermore, Al-Swaha touched on the digital awareness and partnership with the Ministry of Education and the MiSK Foundation, indicating that they celebrated the ‘Saudi Codes’ initiative in which over 300,000 students were trained on the principles of programming, declaring that they aspire to raise the number of participants to nearly one million soon, and added that the third pillar of digital culture focuses on the new competitive rules, data and entrepreneurship, and recently many hackathons and forums were held to stimulate entrepreneurship, such as the Saudi Digital Machines Hackathon or Industrie 4.0, with General Electric, in which more than 200 youths competed in challenges relevant to water, energy and agriculture.

Minister of Communications ministry of communications CITC ICT Market Indicators Forum

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