Enabling the business hub for MENA
Big Interview

Enabling the business hub for MENA

Mohammed Alabbadi_16_9.jpg

Mohammed Alabbadi, VP, stc, on KSA Vision 2030 and stc's role in the leadership, investment and economic growth in the Middle East region.

     Q. What are stc wholesale (WBU’s) strategic priorities in future?

    Our aim is to become wholesale business partner of choice in KSA and MENA region. Strategic priority is to become trusted solution provider, through product & services portfolio enhancements, while closely working with our customers in order to improve experience, and reducing time to market. We intend to strengthen stc position as infrastructure hub of Cloud & DC services, as well as national and international connectivity services. Last but not the least, enabling national OLO’s to leverage stc assets through open access framework is very important to us. Through this initiative we are increasing reach of and uptake in ultra-fast broadband connectivity which is pivotal for national level digital transformation and realization of KSA Vision 2030.

    Q. stc opened a representative office in Dubai. How will this step contribute to the company’s growth?

    With the aim of reinventing customer experience and expanding aggressively, stc wholesale (stc WBU), the business unit within stc that deals with international customers as part of our customer segments, has implemented several initiatives to be closer to the customer and build stronger business relationships. Establishing the Dubai office promotes outward stc’s strategic objectives of synergizing more effectively with regional and global partners. Stc Wholesale intends to provide world top class services and dedicated support to customers and partners looking to access Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region.

    Q. How is stc looking to make Saudi Arabia the business hub for the region?

    KSA Vision 2030 is leading the kingdom to persist its leadership in investment and economic growth in the Middle East region. Being the spearhead national carrier, stc enables the communication platforms of KSA vision.

    This includes continuously upgrading the national and international infrastructure to support competitive open access models, international bandwidth growing demand, innovative 5G and IoT applications not only in KSA but also to ensure serving the requirements of the rest of the region.

    Saudi Arabia is blessed with its geographical position as the gateway into Middle East for all network traffic coming from the West. This brands certain locations as Jeddah to be a natural spot for Carriers to transit and exchange business with each other and to continue into the region, towards East , and also towards Africa.

    stc’s Mena Gateway (MG1) and the resident IX (JEDIX) were created to operate as a “Data and connectivity hub” for both capacity and IP. With actively attracting CDNs and Content providers to localize their data in Saudi Arabia, the best performances and customer experiences can be provided to stc consumers and the customers of regional partners.

    Q. What is stc doing to increase international connectivity into KSA and how would new international sub-sea links benefit KSA and the wider region. What other future plans do stc have for new regional connectivity?

    stc is driving initiative along with Facebook and the rest of the consortium members to build 2Africa as one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world running 37,000 Km long, connecting Europe, Middle East, and 16 countries in Africa. This subsea cable will be integrated with MG1, and will provide internet capacity and reliability across much of Middle East and Africa countries supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses.

    In addition to 2 Africa, stc is participating in major plans to develop multiple new infrastructure capabilities with multiple regional reaches, while upgrading existing assets. Among these plans is building direct terrestrial network access into Oman, a new subsea cable into the red sea and reaching the border with Jordan.

    Q. Lastly, stc WBU and LINX collaborated on the launch of JED-IX. Can you give us an update on this partnership and the JED-IX project?

    stc WBU is actively engaged to bring new JEDIX members on board by leveraging stc’s extensive and resilient network to deliver new content to caches in MG1 for new members to access. This has drawn the interest of major CDN players and gaming publishers who see JEDIX as their way to enhance the content and gaming experience for their customers in Saudi Arabia.

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