Saudi Arabia among first countries to launch 5G

Al-Sawaha said that by 2030, the 5G network is expected to contribute to creating more than $8 billion in revenues in the telecom market and more than $19 billion to the GDP. (SPA)
Updated 28 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia among first countries to launch 5G

  • Al-Sawaha said that by 2030, the 5G network is expected to contribute to creating more than $8 billion in revenues in the telecom market and more than $19 billion to the GDP
  • The network is expected to create 20,000 jobs in ICT

JEDDAH: Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha has said that Saudi Arabia is one of the first countries to launch the fifth generation mobile network (5G).
The news came during Al-Sawaha’s address on Tuesday to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. It reflected the progress achieved by the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to support digital transformation in the Kingdom, he said.
The event, organized by the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), is the largest global gathering for officials and specialists in the sector. It brings together experts, engineers and leaders of major telecommunications, information technology companies and smartphone companies from around the world.
“Saudi Arabia is looking forward to being the first in the region to launch this technology through implementing several initiatives to provide 5G network services as it allows for the use of many of the advanced technologies that rely on 5G, such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality, robotics, smart cities, and other modern futuristic technologies,” he said.
Al-Sawaha said that by 2030, the 5G network is expected to contribute to creating more than $8 billion in revenues in the telecom market and more than $19 billion to the GDP, in addition to creating about 20,000 new jobs in ICT fields and supporting 45 million new Internet of Things devices, creating a market worth more than $12 billion by 2030.
Aspiration Project
At the congress, the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) signed a “Aspiration Project” contract with Huawei on wireless network modernization and 5G network construction.
Huawei will support STC to introduce global partners to KSA for the 5G ecosystem, and deliver high-quality services to Saudi citizens and enterprises, and maximize investment efficiency in terms of capital and operations spend.
Nasser Al-Nasser, chief executive officer, STC, said: “STC is committed to pioneering 5G Network development and deployment to deliver the pledged ‘fully digitized society’ in KSA. We have already put ourselves on the road to pioneer and shape the future of 5G services in KSA and beyond. Our collaborations with our international partners will only enhance and push forward the boundaries for our 5G ambitions.”
Charles Yang, president, Middle East Region, Huawei, said: “STC and Huawei share a common understanding of industry trends and national vision.”


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.