Under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Chairman of the CST's Board of Directors, Eng. Abdullah Alsawaha, The Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) held the “ICT Indicators Forum 2023”, with the presence of H.E. the Governor of the CST, Dr. Muhammad Altamimi, as well as a number of their highnesses, excellencies, and local and international experts. During the forum, CST announced that the value of the ICT market in Saudi Arabia reached 154 Billion SAR in 2022, making it the largest and fastest-growing digital economy in the MENA region.
Dr. Altamimi revealed that Saudi Arabia's total capital investment in digital infrastructure has reached more than 93 Billion SAR over the past six years, noting that this expansion lead to a rise in the quality of the provided services, by doubling the mobile Internet speeds to 11 times, exceeding 181 Mbps, which is double the global average, making the Kingdom maintain its place among the top 10 countries in terms of mobile internet speed.
In addition, Dr. Altamimi pointed out that CST was able to launch high-speed internet service in 21 thousand villages and immigration in various regions of the Kingdom to ensure the continuity of communications services for more than 5 million people, confirming the development of the communications and technology system in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom, 5G coverage has increased to 53%; in Riyadh, it has exceeded 94%. Additionally, 3.7 million Saudi homes are under fiber optics coverage.
Altamimi also stated that Internet service usage has significantly increased in Saudi Arabia, where the subscription rate for mobile communications has reached 172% of the population, while the average daily mobile internet data consumption per individual in the Kingdom has reached over 1200MB, which is three times the global average. CST also contributed to strengthening national participatory efforts through collaboration with the Transport General Authority and the National Regulations Committee to issue 12 approvals for 26 brands that provide connected vehicle services. In addition to launching the experimental regulatory environment for emerging technologies in support of entrepreneurs and innovators, and creating a flexible environment that balances innovation and regulation.
The ICT Indicators Forum focused in this edition on the efforts and trends in enhancing the efficiency of digital infrastructure, and the importance of expanding the scope of digital business to support the aspirations of the digital economy in Saudi Arabia, as well as exploring the future of communications and technology markets and their most important trends.