Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission was set up under the name of Saudi Communications Commission compliant with the Council of Ministers Decision. However, the name was changed after the Commission was endowed with new undertakings identified with information technology to become Communications and Information Technology Commission under the Council of Ministers Decision. The Commission is empowered with the juridical character and financial autonomy to accomplish its goals specified in the Telecommunications Act, its Bylaw, and the Communications and Information Technology Commission’s Ordinance.
The CITC is liable for controlling the Internet and hosting a firewall that obstructs access to many websites, chiefly because of sexual and political substance. The Internet authorities have occasionally blocked admittance to Megaupload in Saudi Arabia.
It is likewise accountable for regulating the ICT sector in Saudi Arabia. The Telecommunications Act, issued by the Royal Decree in 2001, endowed with the lawful framework in organizing the sector. This Act includes various goals like “providing advanced and adequate telecommunication services with affordable prices, creating an appropriate atmosphere to encourage fair competition, using frequencies effectively, localization of telecommunication technology and managing recent advancements, clarity, and transparency in procedures, equality, and neutrality, protection of the public interest as well as the interest of users and investors.”
CITC, toward the end of 2019, holds sole liability regarding the regulation of ICT and the postal ecosystem in the Saudi Arabia area. It has vested its endeavours in catalyzing economic development and filling the digital gap. The Communications and Information Technology Commission is cautiously organized to improve connectivity, which further supports businesses and individuals to gain easy access to information, and tap into new, creative opportunities.As of late, the Communications and Information Technology Commission has enhanced the quality of services and their scope in the Communications and IT industry. The association made a notable declaration, wherein they arose with another brand personality. Under this new age, CITC, in a joint effort with Telco, guaranteed that it would develop the digital revolution by incorporating IT and emerging tech with the current postal services. The new approach was dispensed to keep in accordance with Vision 2030 and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s ICT Sector Strategy 2023.
They introduced a sandbox controller for conveyance applications in Saudi Arabia and would help lessen costs and time to market applications, advancing low-cost conveyance services. CITC further made a partnership deal with a significant European network, Ripe NCC. The association intended to aid continuous and creative Internet service in the Middle East area. Likewise, the top institution partook in G20, the first international summit organized by SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization).
Saudi Arabia’s CITC also vowed to make 10GHz of additional radio range accessible by 2024. The declaration was made through a public meeting, wherein they announced their plans for the following five years.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently hailed the remarkable and speedy development of the Communications and Information Technology sector in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) role as its regulator. As indicated by ITU, the Saudi model is a pioneer in changing communication and information technology, prominently among the most matured group (5G). ITU also pinpoints that Saudi Arabia is enduring to prioritize its ICT sector’s speedy development and seek sustainable economic diverseness as a feature of its Vision 2030. It further asserted that the CITC is venturing up to meet the ‘fifth generation regulation challenge’ with an aspiring ‘new digital transformation strategy’ with a maneuvering vision of a “connected nation for a thriving digital economy.’ “Their vision also emphasizes safeguarding the public, providing reliable service, ensuring fair competition, and balancing the diverse needs of multiple stakeholders.’
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingdom, the CITC rapidly and adequately associated with the telecom operators to meet the demand of ‘online access and data with high speeds and data capacity, free services, extended-spectrum use, and improved network configuration and connectivity.’
It further mentioned that “This rapid response played a critical role in enabling remote work, business continuity, delivery apps, e-government services, and remote learning across Saudi Arabia, the ITU report highlighted. CITC is placing a strong emphasis on sustainability through the inclusion of ITU’s global standards on sustainability within its core objectives. As it continues to hit milestone after milestone, CITC is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most developed 5th-generation regulators.”
Thus, Saudi Arabia is viewed as a digital country, exceptionally positioned to initiate an appealing era of investment and modernization across a wide range of sectors. Its move from a telecom regulator to a digital regulator will additionally speed up t of the Kingdom’s economy’s growth economy. The Kingdom presently ranked fifth globally for mobile Internet speed, with an average speed of 77.55 Mbps. A contemporary and realistic spectrum strategy puts ‘Saudi Arabia second among the G20 nations for spectrum allocation and fourth for 5G network deployment in the world.’
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