Saudi Arabia has now expanded 5G services to 51 cities and provinces across the country, the Saudi Arabian Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has confirmed.
The move is part of the country’s economic diversification programme, Vision 2030. Digital expansion across the country is a key part of the strategy, which aims to develop all sectors, readying the Kingdom for a post-oil economy.
ATTRACTING INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT
The news comes at a particularly significant time for Saudi Arabia, which like much of the rest of the world, is currently battling against the COVID-19 pandemic. The 5G rollout will no doubt be welcomed by remote-working business efforts across the areas affected.
In the long term, the Kingdom hopes to attract international interest and investment through its efforts. Along with enhancing its competitiveness in the region and further afield.
Aside from the 5G rollout, the government’s ICT strategy includes plans to develop broadband and fibre networks, and as a result, advance the e-government, e-commerce and technology sectors across the country. Goals include having high-speed broadband coverage in 90% of homes in populated cities, and 66% of households in other areas.
THE IMPACT OF THE ICT ROLLOUT
According to the most recent data from Saudi Arabia, the country’s ICT efforts are beginning to pay off. Investment and spending in ICT were up approximately 2.4% from 2019 to 2020, according to the International Data Corporation, at around USD 37 billion for 2020 in total. Global Data added to this predicting ICT spending over the next few years would grow, expecting to reach USD 46.6 billion in 2024.
So far, unsurprisingly, cybersecurity has been one of the fastest-growing market segments as the country’s digital market develops. In 2019 the sector was worth USD 120 billion, which is expected to reach USD 300 billion by 2024, according to Global Market Insights.
Photo Credit: www.sustg.com
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