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.


LuLu stores in Saudi Arabia launch Indian food festival

Updated 13 August 2020

LuLu stores in Saudi Arabia launch Indian food festival

  • The week-long event, in celebration of India’s Independence Day, features about 2,000 products

LuLu Hypermarkets is celebrating India’s Independence Day, which falls on Aug. 15, with an Indian-themed food festival across its stores in Saudi Arabia.

The week-long promotion, which continues until Aug. 18, features about 2,000 Indian products, including organic groceries, fresh foods, ethnic delicacies and desserts.

“We are trying to showcase the versatility and diversity of Indian food products handpicked by our well-spread supply chain in India and across the world,” said Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia.

The proximity of India to the Kingdom means that more fresh products arrive regularly, he added, most of which are flown in to maintain their freshness “as we move closer to a farm-to-fork concept in (the Kingdom), featuring both locally and internationally sourced ranges.”

As Saudi Arabia gears up for the start of the new school term, LuLu has also launched its back-to-school promotions.