Data usage in Arafat up by 90 percent, says STC

For the first time at the holy sites, the Saudi telecom operator allowed pilgrims to use the 5G network in several locations. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 August 2019

Data usage in Arafat up by 90 percent, says STC

STC reported a 75 percent increase in data consumption in Muzdalifah this year, with data transmitted over 4G up by 92 percent. An increase in the number of local and international customers choosing STC by 12 percent and 23 percent, respectively, has been reported.

While mobile data usage in Arafat increased by 90 percent, 4G usage grew by 108 percent; customer numbers and international roaming increased by 4 percent. 

For the first time at the holy sites, the telecom operator allowed pilgrims to use the 5G network in several locations, reflecting the technical advancement of the Kingdom’s digital infrastructure, in line with Vision 2030’s digital transformation goals. 

The company also enabled 2,952 access points for Wi-Fi networks distributed in the holy places. STC said it had completed all technical and field preparations to facilitate traffic in Mina. It focused on raising the capacity of the network during the pilgrimage season this year, working to ensure that all outgoing calls from the Kingdom to countries across the world are processed smoothly.

Meanwhile, the number of pilgrims who were served by STC’s critical communication technology, which was used by the General Syndicate of Cars of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the day of “Tarwiyah” at Mina, amounted to more than 1 million in six hours. 

Using 2,000 transport lines on which the pilgrims boarded 10,000 buses, the union was able to serve pilgrims through a Tetra critical communication network. 

The network, whose capacity was increased during the Hajj season by 31 percent, can accommodate huge working groups, in addition to its high security and high encryption level for calls, and its 99.99 percent dynamic operation in emergencies. Ordinary communication networks are not able to handle call traffic in the case of emergency, especially in crowded locations, such as the holy places, where more than 2 million communication users meet in one place. 

The Ministry of Health also relied on STC’s critical communication technology for running ambulance convoys, which served to transfer ill pilgrims who were hospitalized in Madinah to the other holy places. The ministry relied on a Tetra critical communication network all the way from Madinah to Makkah for a highly seamless experience. 

STC constructed, developed and expanded several sites at the holy places. It established other networks in vital areas of the Kingdom, such as at airports, ports and the industrial zones. It constructed 210 towers, with a plan to cover all major cities and vital regions in the country.


Dubai to host Mideast’s first dinosaur auction

Updated 18 August 2019

Dubai to host Mideast’s first dinosaur auction

A massive 155-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton will be up for grabs for lovers of rare collectibles as Emirates Auction announced it will organize the Middle East’s first auction to sell the giant dinosaur skeleton. 

The online auction will be conducted by Emirates Auction, which specializes in organizing and managing public and electronic auctions, at a starting value of 14.6 million dirhams (SR14.9 million, $4 million) and will end on Aug. 25. 

The 24.4-meter-long by 7-meter-high skeleton, which dates back to the Jurassic period, is the first of its kind in the world to be installed at the Dubai Mall. 

Back then the 25-year-old dinosaur weighed up to five elephants and was one of the long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs and has a tail tapering to a long, thin whip-like end to defend itself against predators.

The dinosaur belongs to the Diplodocus longus variety, deriving it from the Greek words “diplos,” meaning “double,” and “dokos” meaning “beam.” 

Nearly 90 percent of the fossil’s bones are original, making it a stunning discovery in the history of palaeontology. The remains of the adult dinosaur were discovered in a sleeping position in 2008 at the Dana Quarry in the US state of Wyoming.

The auction will be an ideal opportunity for those looking for excellence to supplement their collections with a historic masterpiece rarely found around the world.

The specimen was previously displayed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the US state of Texas. It was sourced through Khalid Seddiq, founder of Etihad Modern Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi, and was put on permanent display at The Dubai Mall in 2014.

Emirates Auction is a UAE-based auction company in the Middle East. Founded in 2004, the company specializes in automobiles, vehicle license plates, real estate and properties, asset liquidation, VIP mobile numbers, jewelry, time-sensitive items, and heavy machinery, plant and construction equipments. 

Emirates Auction has achieved a number of milestones in a short span of time since its establishment, breaking 10 Guinness World Records along the way.

With increasing annual sales and registered bidders across the UAE, GCC and North Africa states, Russia and other countries across the world, the auctioneer conducts over 200 online and physical auctions per year. The company is credited with significantly contributing to the development of auction concepts in the Arab world.