Saudi Arabia among top 10 in terms of mobile Internet speeds

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  • Recent reallocation of frequency spectrum likely to increase the capacities of radio networks, improve quality of services

  • Country plans to provide 22 gigahertz under a roadmap for innovative and commercial use of frequency spectrums

 

Saudi Arabia has been ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for Internet speed on mobile networks and second among the G20 countries in providing frequency spectrum for mobile telecommunication services.

The Communications and Information Technology Commission recently reallocated 800 megahertz of frequency spectrum for commercial use by mobile communications service providers, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The reallocation is likely to increase the capacities of radio networks and improve the quality of services.

Four frequency spectrum auctions held by the commission between 2017 and 2019 had raised the frequency allocated for mobile networks from 260 megahertz to 1,110 megahertz.

The rise in frequency increased Internet download speed over mobile networks tenfold, from 7 megabits per second (Mbps) in mid-2017 to more than 97 Mbps by the end of 2020, leading to Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the top-10 list.

Reallocating frequency spectrum for mobile services in Saudi Arabia has contributed to stimulating investments in the radio infrastructure by up to SR40 billion ($10.6 billion) during the past three years.

Due to the importance of this limited resource and efforts to increase its national utilization, Saudi Arabia is planning to publish a roadmap for innovative and commercial use of the frequency spectrum (2021-2023).

Under this roadmap, the country plans to provide 22 gigahertz for innovative and smart radio usages for the frequency spectrum, enabling the adoption of 5G technology and 6G Wi-Fi, high-speed wireless networks, broadband satellite systems, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.

The government also plans to provide multiple frequency ranges to experiment with and develop emerging and advanced radio systems and technologies such as high-altitude platforms and smart wireless transport systems.

The roadmap also aims to provide sufficient frequency ranges to enhance the digital radio transmission in Saudi Arabia.

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