RIYADH: A Saudi public-private partnership will launch a $15 billion technology fund to advance the digital infrastructure in the Kingdom, Haytham AlOhali, vice minister of the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) announced on Wednesday, during the Saudi 4th Industrial Revolution conference held in Riyadh.
Telecom and technology operators invest between $3 billion and $4 billion annually in digital infrastructure, fiber infrastructure, Internet networks and 5G services, and this is not enough for the Kingdom to take a lead, said AlOhali.
"We will transform in Saudi Arabia into an economy based on technology, information, capabilities and skills, and it will bear fruit for the future with huge investments from more than 10,000 industrial facilities worth $25 billion," he said, during the two-day-conference.
The investments in the fourth industrial technology are expected to reach $200 billion in the Kingdom, with value creation coming from improved efficiency and reduction in cost over a 10 year period, said AlOhali.
There are 13,000 solar energy centers that rely on 5G to implement their services, with 10 million smart meters in the Kingdom, while 60 percent of cities are covered by 5G and 45 percent of the Kingdom's populated areas receive 5G, he said.
Saudi Arabia has invested in the mobile infrastructure leading the Kingdom from rank 105 in terms of speed to the 4th in the world, he said.
Advanced technology from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is expected to generate around $1 trillion for the Saudi economy in new revenue streams, a senior Saudi official said on Wednesday.
The Kingdom will enjoy economic boosts from robotics, artificial intelligence, and wireless production models as it pushes for more smarter cities and infrastructure.