CST’s achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many challenges started to appear in early 2020. This called for urgent and vigilant action by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which took early and strict precautionary measures, such as border closures, suspension of social events and group prayers, closure of public places (including malls, restaurants, schools and even workplaces), introduction of smart schooling and working, and implementation of a national curfew. These extreme measures were taken to preserve the health and safety of every citizen and resident in Saudi Arabia.

The ICT sector in the Kingdom was not immune from the effects. Meeting the challenges required cooperation from all concerned government and private parties who worked together to support business continuity and mitigate the worst impacts of the pandemic on the Kingdom and its citizens.

Infrastructure durability.. Data consumption reliability

Allocation of 850 MHz of additional frequency bands

as total allocated frequencies to provide digital services reached 1110 MHz, compared to 260 MHz in 2016. To meet the increasing demand for data during the pandemic period, CST has provided additional frequencies for operators in the two bands 700 and 800 MHz, with an increase of 50% over the frequencies used in those bands.

Increase in data consumption

34% increase in data consumption during the pandemic. Thanks to CST’s measures, the network was able to support a 45% increase in fixed internet data consumption during the pandemic period, and a 24% increase in mobile internet data consumption during the same period.

Network performance monitoring by activating contingency plans

CST encouraged business continuity, monitored all network indicators around the clock, and provided periodical analysis to prevent any disruptions.

The average daily per capita consumption

The average daily per capita consumption of mobile data during the pandemic was 920 MB, which is more than three times the global average.

Technology to confront the pandemic

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the most successful countries in the world in harnessing technology to confront the pandemic. National achievements included enabling digital education, providing digital health services, and smart government services.
  • The Kingdom's reliable digital infrastructure mitigated the worst impacts of the pandemic by enhancing communications between users of ICT services and facilitation of e-commerce.

Postal logistic services and delivery applications enablement

  • Ensuring continuity of postal logistics services and meeting the increased demand for deliveries while retail and restaurants remained closed. CST formalized and increased the number of companies with valid licenses to provide parcel transport services locally and internationally to 24, compared to 6 in 2019.
  • Activating the role of delivery applications by issuing CST’s regulations and procedures to strengthen the delivery sector, such as the governance framework for travel permits, guide on preventive measures for service providers, and incentives for Saudi youth to work at delivery application companies.