The centre will provide a platform to develop digital trust, enhance digital infrastructure, adopt emerging technologies, advance smart cities, foster digital capabilities and skills, and digital innovation
Saudi Arabia is steadily growing in its digital transformation while encouraging tech innovation and entrepreneurship. The Kingdom is investing hundreds of billions of dollars through a structural policy known as Vision 2030, with investments worth $6.4 billion in cutting-edge technologies. In addition, the country is gaining momentum in adopting 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and computing technologies like cloud and AI.
Smart city project NEOM, a $500 billion futuristic megacity, aimed to be completed in 2030, is expected to provide “a glimpse of what Saudi’s future tech revolution might look like.” With facial recognition and 5G networks as standard, Neom’s flagship zero-carbon project “The Line ” envisions a city of 1 million inhabitants run entirely by smart technology.
The Red Sea and Amaala projects, the Qiddiya Entertainment City, and other urban development projects in the Kingdom are all planned with technology integration as the integral core for smart destinations. In the Kingdom, more than 16 smart cities have already been constructed or are in the development stages.
Recently, In cooperation with Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia Co. Ltd, The Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology Engineer Haitham Al-Ohali, and the President of King Saud University, Dr Badran Al-Omar, recently inaugurated the National Centre for Future Network Technologies.
The initiative is the result of a strategic partnership that brings together King Saud University represented by the College of Computer and Information Sciences, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in the presence of President Eric Yang, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia.
The centre’s inauguration comes in the implementation of a previous agreement that brings together the ministry to cooperate in developing 5G applications and local talent.
The centre aims to help raise awareness of 5G technologies and their expanding applications, support local talent in this field, and strengthen 5G cybersecurity. It will also provide a platform to develop digital trust, enhance digital infrastructure, adopt emerging technologies, advance smart cities, foster digital capabilities and skills, and digital innovation.
Commenting on the National Development Centre, Eric Yang, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said, “We are honoured and excited to kick off our cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology through the launch of the National Centre for Emerging Network Technologies. This step aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s continuous efforts to advance digital transformation, develop digital skills, and spread a culture of innovation. This collaboration reflects Huawei’s commitment to adopting the latest 5G technologies and supporting the Kingdom’s progress to become a global leader in this field.”
In recent years, the National Technology Development Program has also launched several initiatives to develop and grow entrepreneurs and emerging digital technologies within the region.
5G covers a huge swath of radio frequencies that enable long-range connectivity, allowing wireless IoT sensors and actuators to enhance automation processes. Such high frequencies also enable pinpoint location accuracy and create fluid infrastructure for high-bandwidth applications.
The Saudi 5G network was the world’s fastest in terms of average download speed, according to research conducted in 2020. 5G services cover 51 cities and provinces in various Saudi Arabia provinces. Businesses now have access to 5G’s faster data transfer rates and increased network dependability. Saudi Arabia’s transforming economy is a result of connectivity and computers, adding additional value in energy, healthcare, education, transportation, and finance sectors.
It is noteworthy that, in recent years, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has formed partnerships with numerous pertinent institutions and industries in a way that ensures the acceleration of innovation in the communications and information technology sector, the promotion of technical research and digital education, and the sponsorship of the digital innovation and entrepreneurship systems to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. MCIT aims to build a digital society, digital government, and a thriving digital economy.
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