01 Dhu al-Hijjah 1443 - 30 June 2022
    
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Eye of Dubai
Technology & IT | Thursday 3 February, 2022 10:18 am |
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Saudi connectivity takes off with next generation Wi-Fi, satellites, and frequency auction

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Saudi Arabia’s digital regulator, has announced the launch of WiFi-6e as part of a raft of measures aimed at boosting connectivity in the Kingdom.

The latest generation of Wi-Fi technology offers data transfer speeds more than five times faster than the current standard and provides more capacity for high-bandwidth activities such as 8k gaming, video conferencing and virtual reality applications.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the global technology conference LEAP22, which is taking place here. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Tamimi, governor of the CITC, explained the significance of the development.

He said: “WiFi-6e technology will provide high connection speeds of up to 2.4 Gbit/s, and will position the Kingdom at the cutting edge of technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and the Internet of Things.

“As a result, the contribution of Wi-Fi technologies to the Kingdom’s GDP is expected to quadruple, rising from $4.7 billion in 2021 to more than $18 billion by 2030.”

The roll-out of WiFi-6e further accelerates the Kingdom’s rapid WiFi advance. In 2021, Saudi Arabia became the first country in the Middle East, Europe or Africa to designate all 1200 MHz of the 6Ghz band for unlicensed use.

 

As a result, the Kingdom has more than 2 GHz of spectrum available for Wi-Fi operations — the most mid-band spectrum designated by any country globally.

 

The Kingdom’s WiFi upgrade is to be accompanied by other connectivity-boosting initiatives, including the deployment of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology to extend reliable coverage to remote areas of the Kingdom.

 

The roll-out of LEO infrastructure will also connect the Kingdom with the global space market, which stood at around $341 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $576 billion by 2030.

 

CITC will also hold a frequency auction during the first half of this year, a development which is likely to place Saudi first globally for spectrum available to fifth-generation (5G) networks and mobile communications.

 

The contribution of 5G technology to GDP is expected to increase from $1.4 billion in 2021 to more than 415 billion by 2030.

 

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