Five things to know about the Saudi Arabia's largest 5G rollout in the MENA
The announcement was made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
10,000 stations: The rollout will see an additional 400 MHz in mid-band (3.5Ghz) spectrum released to commercial operators in March 2019 and will make over 1,000 Mhz total spectrum available for cellular services through around 10,000 5G base stations across the kingdom. $12bn market: In 2018, Al Khobar was the first city in the region to test a 5G network. The technology is expected to contribute over $19bn to the country’s GDP and create almost 20,000 new ICT jobs by 2030, creating a market worth more than $12bn by the same year. Structural reforms: The rollout will take place due to over 30 structural reforms to the telco sector launched by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Saudi’s Communications and Information Technology Commission over the past 18 months. Mobile speed: The reforms have also allowed Saudi to triple mobile internet speed, increase fibre optic internet coverage by 50 percent and ensure 100 percent internet access for rural areas, as well as create the largest and fastest growing tech market in MENA. Further boosts: Saudi’s current telecoms market is the 12th largest in the world, with revenue valued at $24bn. In 2017, it saw $8bn in broadband investments. The $450bn National Industrial Development & Logistics investment programme is also expected to boost its tech sector.