The Communications and Information Technology Commission's (CITC) networks in Saudi Arabia have recorded a remarkable success in absorbing the growing demand for ICT services since the
COVID-19 precautionary measures. The
robustness of the
reflected on the performance of the work system in the government and the private sector, which resulted in high performance rates of adopting technology during the period from last March to June.
CITC revealed a significant increase in data consumption during COVID-19 period, which exceeded 34%. The Commission also revealed a rise in the consumption of fixed internet data that reached 45%, while the consumption of mobile data reached 24%.
The Commission clarified that the individual consumption rate for mobile data in Saudi Arabia is estimated at 600 MB per day before COVID-19, which is twice the global average estimated at 200 MB. The individual consumption rate for mobile data increased during the pandemic to reach more than 3 times the global average after the individual consumption rate reached 920 MB in Saudi Arabia.
The Governor of Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Dr. Mohammed Altamimi attributed this success to the robustness of the digital infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. Dr Altamimi stated that the great support the sector receives from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince and with the supervision of HE Eng. Abdullah Bin Amer AlSawah, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. As well as the major investment in the ICT infrastructure has powered this success. In addition to all the efforts made by all parties and the continuous work to develop the sector.
To accommodate the increase in data consumption and meet the increasing demand, CITC provided additional frequencies for operators on the two domains (700, 800) MHz, with an increase of more than 50% of the frequencies in these domains. In addition, the Commission provided support for vital sectors such as the health and education sector by strengthening the telecommunications infrastructure for the Health Emergency Operations Center (NHEOC) and providing "SEHHA" application, as well as e-learning platforms, and the "Tawakkalna "application for all users for free.
The Commission revealed the top five applications for data consumption during the pandemic, noting that "YouTube" tops the most content-consuming data platforms with an estimated rate of 22% of the total daily data consumption in Saudi Arabia. Followed by "Facebook" and "Snapchat" with 9% each, while "PlayStation" and "Netflix" ranked third with 6% each.
It is worth mentioning that the Speedtest report on measuring internet speeds revealed in its latest report that Saudi Arabia maintained the tenth position in the mobile Internet speed index by the end of last May, with an average mobile Internet speed of 62.33 Mbps.