STC launches commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia

STC launches commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia
STC Group CEO Nasser Sulaiman Al-Nasser.
Updated 23 June 2019

STC launches commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia

STC launches commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia

STC Group has officially launched commercial 5G services in Saudi Arabia, becoming the Kingdom’s first telecom operator to provide this service across a number of cities in the country.

STC Group CEO Nasser Sulaiman Al-Nasser said the launch of 5G services confirms the telecom operator’s leading position as a pioneer in the field of digital transformation and is a testament to the remarkable development of the ICT sector in the Kingdom. 

Viva Kuwait, one of the group’s subsidiaries, recently became the first operator in Kuwait to launch the commercial 5G services. Another subsidiary, Viva Bahrain, is all set to launch the same service soon.

Al-Nasser said STC has developed the infrastructure of wireless networks in the Kingdom, extended their range, provided the latest global technologies and accelerated the deployment of 5G networks, which provide the foundation for a range of innovative future applications, including the provision of high-speed mobile internet all over the Kingdom. 

At present, 5G networks in their first phase are available in select areas in a number of major cities by using home routers.

“This launch is a confirmation of STC’s commitment toward providing pioneering innovative technologies and services to its customers all over the Kingdom and the region as 5G technology aims to improve the speed and performance of wireless networks,” STC said.

“This development will not only enhance the efficiency of communication between humans and phones or computers, it will also inspire much sophisticated uses, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics.”

In May 2018, STC Group, in the presence of Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif launched its first live 5G network — a first in the MENA region — after completing the testing and trial phase.


‘KAUST Challenge’ seeks tech ideas for Hajj & Umrah

Updated 03 December 2020

‘KAUST Challenge’ seeks tech ideas for Hajj & Umrah

‘KAUST Challenge’ seeks tech ideas for Hajj & Umrah

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has launched a new campaign to catalyze research, innovation, economic development and social prosperity in Saudi Arabia through new crowdsourcing initiatives that challenge local and international talents to identify ideas and solutions that advance the Kingdom’s national priorities and support Vision 2030. With the “KAUST Challenge,” the university is seeking to develop and support bold science, technology, and engineering initiatives that aim to transform the lives of Saudis and develop Saudi talents.

“We wish to draw on the participative power of crowdsourcing to solve problems faced in the Kingdom and the world with the KAUST Challenge,” said Najah Ashry, vice president for strategic national advancement at KAUST. “The speed, flexibility and scalability of crowdsourcing will bring us new science-based ideas and solutions that can be further developed through deep collaboration with players in the Kingdom’s research-development-innovation ecosystem.”

The focus of the inaugural 2020 edition of the KAUST Challenge is on improving the Hajj and Umrah experience for pilgrims from all over the world and on advancing efforts to make Makkah a smart city. The KAUST Challenge will play an active role in advancing one of the Kingdom’s national priorities of better serving the increasing number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and improving their experiences in the two holy cities. It will identify and support science- and technology-based ideas and solutions that can move quickly into the market for SR1 million ($266,000) in cash and other prizes. The challenge spans three themes: Healthcare, to increase preventative measures to ensure health and well-being for all pilgrims, a concern augmented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; mobility to ensure adequate availability and access to public and private transportation; and crowd management, to enhance infrastructure to meet capacity requirements for large crowds.

To gather valuable inputs from this challenge, KAUST is targeting a wide group of national and international participants to submit their ideas and solutions, including startups (growth stage startups or scaleups with solutions proven by the market), innovators (seed startups and IP-holders with ideas or solutions yet to be fully market tasted), and general public (students, academics, entrepreneurs and individuals in society).

“Advances in high technology can assist in solving the challenges that Hajj and Umrah pilgrims face. We know that people here in Saudi Arabia and across the world have great solutions to contribute,” said Ashry. “We are excited to receive their submissions and to offer our neighbors in Makkah creative and unique ideas that we hope will serve all pilgrims.

Submission to the KAUST Challenge is now open and will run until Jan. 5, 2021 with a virtual final event that will take place on an immersive platform at the end of February 2021, where the three best ideas, one for each theme, will be selected by a panel of qualified judges and one grand prize will be awarded.