COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the country’s digital transformation, and smartphones are the cornerstone of this, with their household penetration rate rising to more than three quarters during 2020. The adoption of new technologies became a priority for many businesses due to lockdown restrictions.
Saudi Arabia has one of the highest levels of social media usage in the world. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all had more than 20 million users in the country during 2020, as did social messaging app WhatsApp.
A growing number of companies connect directly with consumers via social media. They also use social media to get a sense of how consumers use their products and what they think of them.
Meanwhile, the government expects 5G technology to support 45 million new internet of things (IoT) devices by 2030. In order to support this growth, STC is increasing the number of data centres it operates from eight to 13.
During December 2020, STC begun to use Nokia’s mmWave spectrum. This can be leveraged to provide high-capacity, low latency 5G applications to support new and enhanced mobile experiences with fibre-like data speeds.
There are currently very few public places that offer free, high-speed internet access in Saudi Arabi, but the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) wants to rectify this by creating around 60,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide. Hospitals, malls and public parks will be among locations to offer free Wi-Fi access.
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