RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced on Thursday that it has launched a new initiative called Game Mode, designed to enable the Kingdom’s legion of keen video game players to make informed choices about which internet provider to use.
The initiative is part of the CITC’s efforts to encourage competition among telecom operators, raise the level of transparency in the market, and provide consumers with the best experience possible.
Game Mode will provide a quarterly award to the internet service provider with the best response time for online gaming, a key indicator of a network’s performance.
In addition, the commission will release quarterly reports comparing response times among service providers across some of the most popular video games in the Kingdom.
Data from CITC’s first Game Mode quarterly report revealed that Mobily topped the list of average response time in the popular game “Fortnite” in the fourth quarter of 2020, at 21 seconds. Integrated Telecom came in next at 28 seconds, Zain at 29 seconds, while Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) registered an average of 35 seconds.
Saudi Arabia’s gaming market is currently worth SR2.6 billion (around $693 million) and is expected to grow to around $2.5 billion by 2030. Its annual growth rate is 22 percent, which is among the highest in the world.
Mobily also topped average-response-time list for “Apex Legends” — another ‘Battle Royale’-style shooter game, with an average response time of 24 seconds, followed by Integrated Telecom, Zain, and STC.
For the hugely popular football game “FIFA,” Zain ranked first with an average response time of 29 seconds.
Zain and Mobily topped the list for battle arena game “League of Legends,” with an average response time of 86 seconds. Performance for this game was relatively low across the spectrum, with STC coming in third at 95 seconds and Integrated Telecom fourth at 97 seconds.
However, for fixed internet average latency across Saudi Arabia, Integrated Telecom ranked first with a latency of nine milliseconds. Mobily and Zain were second and third with latencies of 13ms and 18ms respectively. STC’s fixed internet average latency was 19ms and Go’s was 34ms.
Zain claimed first place for mobile internet average latency with 33ms, closely followed by Mobily and STC with 34ms and 36ms respectively.
Zain also led the field for mobile 5G average latency with 22ms. STC came in second with 24ms and Mobily third with 25ms.