RIYADH — Bassam Al-Bassam, deputy Minister for telecom and digital infrastructure at Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), reiterated Saudi Arabia’s objective to become a top 20 digital powerhouse by 2030.
The Kingdom seeks to achieve its objective by working with industry players to develop and adopt more 5G and IoT use cases in new verticals in the Kingdom such as the education, health, and oil and gas sectors, he said.
The first partnership of developing dedicated networks was signed with Aramco, STC and Huawei last month with a plan to extend this further in the near future.
Al-Bassam made the remarks as he delivered the opening note of the GTI Summit 2021, part of Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2021, early this week.
Al-Bassam highlighted how countries that have better-developed digital infrastructure have been better able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and build a path toward a more resilient future.
In particular, the deputy minister noted how growing Saudi Arabia’s digital economy and becoming a leading digital society is at the heart of Vision 2030. He stressed that this digital transformation was wisely addressed early on as the core enabler for realizing Vision 2030, citing how Saudi Arabia has invested more than $15 billion in partnership with the private sector in digital infrastructure initiatives, which has led to the delivery of new capabilities and the country’s exceptional response to unforeseen network demand.
Al-Bassam further noted that in recent years, Saudi Arabia has become among the top five countries globally in terms of 5G performance, a leading G20 nation regarding spectrum allocation, while recent investments have led to 45 percent country-wide coverage of 5G.
The GTI Summit 2021, themed “5G in the Moment’” gathered global information and communications technology (ICT) experts to discuss opportunities for mobile operators, vendors, and vertical industry partners to leverage, innovate, and overcome the challenges of the 5G commercialization.
Participating in the event alongside GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, GTI Chairman Craig Ehrlich, Huawei Chairman of the Board Liang Hua, and other senior-level industry leaders, Al-Bassam discussed the impact of COVID-19 in the development of digital infrastructure, and the necessity for increasing investment to leverage ICT as a means to rebuild economies with the potential to surpass pre-pandemic productivity levels.
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