ECA addresses concept of sustainability in smart cities

The forum was attended by global experts, decision makers and local market specialists.
Updated 21 May 2018
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ECA addresses concept of sustainability in smart cities

The Economic Cities Authority (ECA) participated in the Sustainable Housing Forum recently held at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh. The forum was attended by Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, state minister for energy affairs and chairman of the executive committee of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center; Essam H. Al-Mubarak, governor of the Real Estate General Authority; and other officials. The forum, which aims to review the best global sustainability practices in relation to the local market, also witnessed the participation of global experts, decision-makers and local market specialists.
Representing ECA, Ahmad Al-Sharif, director of municipalities and urban planning, delivered a presentation titled “Towards Sustainable Modern Cities,” addressing the PPP-based business model applied in the economic cities and the responsibility of the ECA on the one hand and the master developers on the other hand. The presentation aimed at contributing to sustainable development and the localization of the national capital by attracting quality investments that are in line with the objectives of Vision 2030.
“ECA contributes to social development in the Kingdom by providing a favorable living environment that guarantees residents, visitors and workers of the economic cities a unique quality of life. This is in addition to recognizing the environmental, economic and societal gains, as well as creating the right balance to guarantee long-run continuity as an integrated, active system,” Al-Sharif said.
He added: “In this context, ECA, in partnership with the private sector, is keen on applying sustainability practices starting from the legislation stage until the operation stage, as well as receiving feedback and suggestions for reviews and improvements in order to retain the benefits and offer sustainable, high quality and highly efficient real estate services and products for the housing sector within the economic cities for this generation and those in the future.”
On the sidelines of the forum, ECA, represented by Director General of Real Estate, Municipality and Urban Planning Abdulaziz M. Almohimeed, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Real Estate Institute, represented by managing director Fawzi S. Al-Oyouni.
The memorandum aims to achieve integration and compatibility between training programs and the business needs inside economic cities to create an attractive real estate environment.
It also aims to qualify national talents and promote job opportunities.


STC wins Ookla award for fastest network in KSA

A man passes the Saudi Telecom STC office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 6, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 January 2019
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STC wins Ookla award for fastest network in KSA

Ookla, the company behind Speedtest for internet testing and analysis, has recognized Saudi Telecom Company (STC) as the “fastest mobile network” in Saudi Arabia. STC achieved a speed score of 29.99 Mbps, with an average download speed of 32.95 Mbps.
The award is an outcome of millions of tests actively initiated by customers across the network to check internet speeds using various applications, and web and mobile platforms.
The Speedtest awards for top providers are determined using a “Speed Score” that incorporates a measure of each provider’s network speeds (download and upload) to rank network speed performance. The STC network was determined as the fastest in the Kingdom.
The telecom giant plans to increase this speed dramatically in the next couple of years to provide “impressive speeds and incorporate future services with KPIs (key performance indicators) targeting higher data rates, very low latency, massive device connectivity, IoT and energy efficiency services.” To achieve this, STC is transforming its existing network, upgrading its 4G-LTE network and rolling out the 5G network.
Haithem Al-Faraj, senior vice president, tech and ops, STC, said: “Our mission has always been to enrich society by providing second-to-none experience with the network. We are continuously improving our network speeds and rolling out new network technologies and services. STC 4G network is transforming all the time to provide remarkably faster speeds.”
He added: “We are also commercially rolling out the 5G network to introduce innovative services to our deserving customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the region. This esteemed Ookla award is a true manifestation of STC efforts to continually improve the network and get the network ready for the digital era, and to meet the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”
We are very proud of this award and look forward to many similar awards and successes in the near future.”
STC is playing a pivotal role in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as an enabler for digital transformation in the public and private sectors and in the development of telecommunications and ICT infrastructure.