CITC outlines plan to become fifth generation regulator

Mohammed Al Tamimi, governor of CITC.jpg

Saudi Arabia’s communications commission has outlined plans to transition into a digital regulator.

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced its new direction by unveiling a fresh brand identity earlier this week.

This will be followed by the introduction of CITC’s new purpose, which will see telco, IT, emerging tech and postal services collaborate to create “the essential digital ecosystem”, and deliver communications infrastructure in line with the country’s economic diversification ambitions.

On this point, CITC said its move from a telecoms regulator to a digital regulator will further accelerate the growth of the country’s digital economy and also meet targets set out in the by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in its ICT Sector Strategy 2023.

Mohammed Al Tamimi (pictured), governor of CITC, said: “The digitalisation of the world's economy has significantly accelerated in 2020. Our new strategy aims to place Saudi Arabia among the world's best when it comes to implementing and regulating new digital technologies across all sectors.

“We are one of the most tech-savvy and connected nations in the world and CITC, as the national regulator, must ensure that the digital infrastructure and regulatory framework reflects this. Saudi Arabia has already received international recognition for our achievements in the ICT sector and, with this new direction, we will be able to accomplish even more,” Al Tamimi continued.

CITC’s new direction will help support its classification as a fifth-generation regulator by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). To secure digital regulator status, ITU demands entities define “a harmonised and forward-looking approach to ICT regulatory frameworks”. The status is reserved for the world's most advanced and high-performing ICT regulators.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has set out its intentions to make the list of the top 20 countries for the telecommunications and IT sector by 2030, improving the sector's performance and contribution to GDP.

Saudi Arabia currently ranks fifth in the world for mobile internet speed, with an average speed of 77.55 Mbps. The country’s spectrum strategy puts it second among the G20 countries for spectrum allocation and fourth in the world for 5G network deployments.

An Arabic language video outlining the new direction can be viewed on CITC’s YouTube channel.