Zain KSA celebrates key 5G milestone

Zain KSA CEO Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Deghaither speaks at the event on Dec. 8 at the Hilton Riyadh.
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Updated 14 December 2019

Zain KSA celebrates key 5G milestone

Zain KSA celebrated the finalization of the first phase of the Middle East’s largest 5G network in a special event on Dec. 8 at the Hilton Riyadh. The ceremony, held under the patronage of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha, was attended by Zain KSA Chairman Prince Nayef bin Sultan bin Muhammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer, Governor of Communications and Information Technology Commission Dr. Muhammed bin Saud Al-Tamimi, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology Haitham bin Abdulrahman Al-Ohali, and Zain KSA CEO Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Deghaither, along with other dignitaries in the ICT sector.

Prince Nayef said: “Zain KSA’s achievement accompanies the speedy development and innovative services of the digital revolution that the world around us is witnessing. This achievement is significant in its timing, as it coincides with the rapid rise of the Kingdom’s ranking in several prestigious international reports, specifically in the ICT sector. Another aspect that makes this achievement noteworthy is its size, as it offers the broadest coverage of the 5G network, which has positioned the Kingdom as the first in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.”

Prince Nayef pointed out the concurrence of Zain KSA’s accomplishment with the Kingdom’s growing pivotal role at the global economic level, and in becoming the first Arab country to preside over the G20 summit. He affirmed Zain’s commitment to keeping pace with the Kingdom’s economic ambitions in line with its position in employing young national talent. He said the Saudization rate in the company has reached 86 percent, with young Saudis assuming 92 percent of leadership positions.

CEO Al-Deghaither said through its completion of the first phase of the 5G network, Zain KSA confirms its commitment to becoming a key player in the ICT sector. “Zain KSA has made several significant achievements since its inception. Today, we proudly announce that the company has the widest 5G network coverage in the Kingdom and the region.” 

He added that the 5G technology will lead the Kingdom toward a new world with its substantial technologies and capabilities, which will be evident in various sectors through the Internet of Things and the business sector, in addition to other daily functions that will make customer experience easier and more effective.”

Al-Deghaither said that this step comes at a time when Zain KSA is witnessing its best operational performance by reaching the highest profit over the past two years, with SR380 million ($101.3 million) during the first nine months of 2019, and a total of SR332 million for 2018.

With the completion of the first phase of the 5G network, Zain KSA is now offering a range of packages of 5G services for individuals and businesses through a network of 2,600 towers distributed across 27 cities.


Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

Updated 12 August 2020

Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

A survey commissioned by Al-Aghar Group, an independent Saudi think tank, in partnership with global management consultancy Kearney, has revealed that most thought leaders and decision-makers in the Kingdom anticipate that COVID-19 will be a positive accelerant of the transformation already underway in the Kingdom. The survey focused specifically on the social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Kingdom through 2025.

Respondents believed that COVID-19 is accelerating the advent of the “future of work” in the Kingdom and more than 65 percent see this as fundamentally positive. About 69 percent see the growing need for the retraining of employees as positive, spurring national adaptation to the new normal. However, the survey also revealed some concerns regarding the security of formal employment and self-employment, with 37 percent seeing the effect of the crisis as negative.

Most survey respondents (70 percent) expect education in the Kingdom to undergo a positive transformation with the adoption of new, innovative, and inclusive modes of learning.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents believe that the impact of the pandemic on the health care in the Kingdom through 2025 will be highly beneficial.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe there will be a wide adoption of telemedicine services in the Kingdom in the near future, as patients gain greater comfort and confidence in this method of consultation with their health providers.

Most respondents believe the health crisis has accelerated the process of digital transformation in the country, particularly in the finance and retail sectors. Seventy-five percent of respondents see the anticipated wider prevalence of e-commerce as positive, and 89 percent see as positive increasing use of cashless payments for face-to-face transactions by 2025.

By 2025, 78 percent of respondents expect that COVID-19 will lead to a significant and welcome (83 percent) step change in government preparedness for future crises. Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents anticipate a significant impact on government information-sharing and 65 percent anticipate a moderate, but positive change in the willingness of citizens to contribute toward government efforts.

Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Saud, chairman, Al-Aghar Group, said: “Saudi Arabia has a proud history of resilience and has thrived even in the most challenging situations. While this pandemic has severely affected us all, the survey results confirm the depth of our intention to use this current situation to accelerate our national progress.”

Rudolph Lohmeyer, partner and head of National Transformations Institute at Kearney Middle East, said: “The survey results clearly reveal the deep, optimistic resilience of the Saudi people and their implicit commitment to the Kingdom’s national transformation. Despite the near-term hardships caused by the crisis, respondents anticipate that the most significant medium-term impacts will be positive.”