Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation in the field of communications and information technology.
The MoU was signed in Riyadh on the sidelines of the visit of President of China Xi Jinping to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by Eng. Bassam Al-Bassam, Deputy Minister for Telecom and Infrastructure Saudi Arabia, and Eric Yang, CEO of Huawei Saudi Arabia. The event was attended by Eng. Khalid AlFalih, Minister of Investment, Eng. Haytham Alohli, Vice Minister, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Steven Yi, the President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia region, and several officials from both parties.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Ministry and Huawei will collaborate to realise a ’10Gbps Society’, seeking to build a superfast broadband infrastructure to support the digital transformation goals of Saudi Vision 2030. These improvements will also enhance the competitiveness of Saudi ICT infrastructure globally. Towards this end, Huawei will leverage its global expertise and success stories to support the MCIT in finalizing the business case and designing the required regulations to accelerate the 10Gbps society goal. An initial 10GB district pilot will be launched in 2023.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Saudi economy, while its bourgeoning startup ecosystem is inspiring innovation and disruption across various domains. To support this evolution, Huawei will work with the Ministry to support digital entrepreneurs working on smart cities, IoT, AI, gaming, fintech, e-commerce, and blockchain projects. The two entities will also jointly promote the Huawei Cloud startups programme, a support programme for empowering SMEs to develop their cloud capabilities.
Additionally, the Ministry pledged to provide Huawei with support to build a cloud computing region in the Kingdom as cloud adoption accelerates in Saudi Arabia. Huawei will, on its part, work to strengthen partnerships with local data centre service providers.
Saudi Arabia recognises ICT talent development as a key pillar of its Vision 2030. The MoU establishes a joint framework to launch a Huawei scholarship training programme to train university students, including visits to Huawei headquarters to experience the company’s technology first-hand. This initiative extends existing Huawei skills development programs in Saudi Arabia, including the ICT Academy and Seeds for the Future.
As Saudi Arabia accelerates the shift toward a digital government, the Ministry and Huawei will also collaborate to build a nationwide Unified Government Network Infrastructure standard to serve all government entities.
Commenting on the deal, Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East and Central Asia Region, said: “This partnership aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Ministry’s continuous efforts to advance digital transformation, enhance ICT skills, and foster a culture of innovation. As a long-term partner of Saudi Arabia’s service providers and enterprises, this MoU reflects our continued commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s efforts to become a global leader in ICT, leveraging our global expertise and technologies.”