OneWeb to Help Bridge Digital Divide in Saudi Arabia

L-R: Greg Wyler, H.E the Minister Eng. Abdulla Al-Sawaha, Sir Richard Branson, Eng. Abdullah Al-Kanhal sign the MOU on Oct. 26, 2017. Photo: OneWeb.

L-R: Greg Wyler, H.E the Minister Eng. Abdulla Al-Sawaha, Sir Richard Branson, Eng. Abdullah Al-Kanhal sign the MOU on Oct. 26, 2017. Photo: OneWeb.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and OneWeb have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperatively develop solutions to connect 237,000 homes throughout the country — bringing affordable, high-speed, low latency broadband access to those living in rural and remote areas. This MOU comes within the efforts of MCIT to extend all the Kingdom’s areas of high-speed internet and to enhance the infrastructure of communications and data networks.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set a goal to connect the majority of its residents living in rural and remote areas by 2020, and OneWeb is going to provide the necessary infrastructure to connect these traditionally hard-to-reach areas.

“As part of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Plan, we have launched an ambitious program to provide high-speed wireless connectivity to more than 70 percent of households in rural areas by 2020. Our partnership with OneWeb will enable us to provide the remaining 30 percent of rural households with high-speed wireless connectivity after 2020, empowering people in rural areas to seize the opportunities of the digital age,” said MCIT Deputy Ministry for Communications and Digital Infrastructure Abdullah Al-Kanhal.

OneWeb intends to bridge the digital divide around the world by 2027, and has begun conversations with governments, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), mobile operators and others to provide the infrastructure to connect “the last mile.”

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