Saudi regulator looks to better satellite connectivity
April 9, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Saudi Arabia’s telecom regular, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), says satellite technology is now emerging alongside fibre, microwave, WiFi and cellular as an exciting innovation and growing in mainstream availability.
CITC has just held a webinar following on from its recent White Paper (Spectrum outlook for commercial and innovative use) which seeks to optimise the use of spectrum in Saudi Arabia, thereby enabling satellite technology, safeguarding satellite industry investments, and encouraging developments to satisfy the Kingdom’s demand for connectivity.
CITC was especially enthusiastic about Low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites and their ability to supply up to 100 Mb/s of transmission with very low latency, reported the Saudi Gazette newspaper.
Dr Mohammed Al-Otaibi, deputy governor for Radio Spectrum at CITC explained the rationale behind the webinar, saying: “In our role as Saudi Arabia’s digital regulator, we understand that satellite technologies are an integral part of the Kingdom’s digital transformation.’’
Dr Al-Otaibi further emphasised the importance of emerging technologies in the satellite industry for areas with poor connectivity, noting: ‘’New LEO satellite technologies support providing broadband services by complementing existing terrestrial networks and connecting unconnected areas, with a potential speed that can reach 100 Mbps with low latency’’.
The sessions featured discussions with several, high-profile international satellite service providers, including Laith Hamad, Director Government, and Regulatory Engagement at OneWeb, Omar Qaise, Founder & CEO of OQ Technologies, Zeina Mokaddem, VP at Inmarsat, Amy R. Mehlman, VP Government Affairs and Global Policy at Viasat, Badr Alsuwaidan, VP & CTO at Arabsat, and Mohaned Juwad, SM Spectrum Policy at Intelsat.