Saudi-based Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) said it has signed an agreement with Integrated Telecom Company (Salam) and Telecommunications Towers Company (Tawal) to provide telecoms services for the first phase of the Diriyah project, home to Unesco World Heritage Site.

The 15-year design, build and operate contract covers open-access services for visitors, tenants, and residents of Diriyah and fiber-optic connectivity for 2,000 plots in addition to key services in the Wadi Hanifah and Wadi Safar areas, said a statement from DGDA.

Work began on the construction of temporary towers last year in bid to provide telecommunications services during the construction phase, it stated.

One of the project’s most notable sustainability features is the shared use of each tower among all three primary Saudi mobile operators - STC, Mobily, and Zain - to minimize the number of towers required for coverage and their impact on the urban silhouette and landscape.

According to DGDA, the camouflaged towers will be used to blend in with the surrounding heritage and architectural design. The project will also include high-speed fiber optics, 4G and 5G wireless services, as well as a range of indoor solutions, it added.

As per the deal, more than 80 telecommunication towers are expected to be erected over the next three years, remarked CEO Jerry Inzerillo after signing the agreements with Salam CEO Engineer Ahmed Al Anqari, and Tawal CEO Engineer Mohammed Alhakbani.

"Diriyah prioritizes telecommunications and network access across all of its projects, adhering to the highest global standards," said Inzerillo.

According to him, the contract with Salam and Tawal will boost Diriyah’s offering, providing high-speed wireless and fiber connectivity to tenants, residents, and visitors to Diriyah, a key element that will help enhance overall quality of life.

The project is part of Diriyah’s comprehensive plan to offer neutrally managed high-speed connectivity, support the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, integrate smart city technology, and allow our residents and visitors to easily select their preferred service provider, he stated.

Al Anqari expressed delight at Salam's contribution towards Saudi Vision 2030, not only by supporting the kingdom’s digital transformation journey but also by helping in the diversification and sustainability of the economy.

"We are proud to be partnering with such visionary companies and look forward to what the next 15 years bring to Saudi Arabia and to Salam," he added.

Alhakbani said Tawal had over the years become the primary enabler of key information and telecommunications technology infrastructure requirements across Saudi Arabia.

"We are extremely pleased to enter into this agreement with Diriyah, newly announced as joining the Public Investment Fund’s giga project portfolio. This project will see us develop a state-of-the-art IT and telecom infrastructure that will be shared between service providers, enabling them to host the latest technologies in Diriyah," he noted.

"Set to be erected in areas characterized by traditional and authentic Najdi architecture, the telecom towers will blend seamlessly into their surroundings. In addition, the project will offer users indoor connectivity solutions, further establishing Diriyah as a modern and sustainable destination," he added.

The shared infrastructure will cut costs for service providers and will reduce the number of towers needed for coverage and provide reliable telecom services across the Diriyah development, thus guaranteeing connectivity.

New telecom services across Wadi Hanifah and Wadi Safar will also improve wireless connectivity and provide 4G and 5G services to residents and visitors while replacing providers’ own towers with improved camouflaged ones that better blend in with the surroundings.

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