Haytham Al-Ohali, vice minister at the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Informational Technology

Haytham Al-Ohali
Updated 07 April 2019

Haytham Al-Ohali, vice minister at the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Informational Technology

 

Haytham Al-Ohali has been the vice minister at the Ministry of Communications and Informational Technology since June 2018. 

An electrical engineer by qualification, he began his professional career as a system engineer at Motorola.  Following his stint at Motorola, he worked at ICDL Saudi Arabia as the deputy general manager from April 2003 to April 2006.  Before landing at the ministry, he remained associated with Cisco for over 12 years. During his time in Cisco, Al-Ohali worked in different capacities until his elevation to the position of managing director in May 2017.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Seattle University in the US. 

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Jordan on Saturday, Al-Ohali said he hoped 5G will be launched in Saudi Arabia “either toward the end of Q2, or early Q3 this year.”

The uptake of the technology is expected to add $19 billion to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, and 20,000 jobs, by 2030.

While 5G will be available to consumers, its real use is for technologies like driverless cars and in machine-to-machine communication, Al-Ohali said.

“Downloading a movie in four seconds is not the promise of 5G … 5G is the first network that’s not built for the consumer. It’s built for machines, it’s built for industry,” he said. The vice-minister said Saudi Arabia is in talks with industry groups over the prospect of 5G use for digitization within factories, and is also studying its use in health and education.

Nations globally are racing to develop 5G networks, an issue complicated by US concerns over the security of equipment produced by Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei.

Al-Ohali said that any company meeting security requirements was welcome to do business in the Kingdom.

“Like any other technology … in Saudi Arabia, there are certain security requirements. We welcome any vendor who complies to come and operate in Saudi Arabia,” he said.


King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

Updated 1 min 19 sec ago

King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

  • Gulf leaders will discuss a number of important issues

RIYADH: GCC leaders arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a summit that will focus on improving integration between Gulf countries.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting will be chaired by King Salman, who met the representatives from each country as they landed.The heds of the delegations including the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani said Gulf leaders will discuss a number of important issues to enhance the process of cooperation and integration among member states in various political, defense, security, economic and social fields.

They will also review regional and international political developments, security conditions in the region, and their implications for the security and stability of the GCC countries.

Among the topics on the agenda is the war in Yemen and Iran’s interference in regional affairs.