Saudi spending on ICT in 2016 crossed $35bn
CITC estimates the volume of the telecom sector in the kingdom at $48bn
The volume of the telecom sector in the Kingdom is estimated at SR 180bn ($48bn) while capital investment is more than SR 50bn ($13bn), said Abdulaziz Salem Al-Rwais, governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), as reported by Arab News.
Addressing a forum on the sector in Riyadh on Wednesday, Al-Rwais said that spending on telecom and IT reached more than SR 130bn ($35bn) in 2016. He added that the contribution of the sector to GDP and non oil GDP reached 6% and 10%, respectively.
He expects the volume of spending on telecom and IT services would grow to SR 138bn ($37bn) by the end of 2017.
He said the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 is a key support program to realise the Saudi Vision 2030. The telecom and IT sector is considered one of the pillars of the NTP 2020.
The CITC has prepared a plan to make the sector more competitive, so that it can act as a stimulus for investors. The plan entails increase in investments in the sector in hosting, cloud computing, support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and boosting of secured networks and information.
He added that development in the next years would depend on the telecom and IT sectors covering bank services, e-education, e-government and health services.
He stressed that the CITC would continue efforts to create an effective regulatory environment in a bid to attract and localise investments in the sector.