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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has announced the work on structuring key business principles for large-scale data center development. Key investors are committed to the build out of a series of neutral data centers across the Kingdom with many expected to follow the plan, according to Saudi Press Agency.

The decision for the development is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to increase the growth of hyper-scale co-location capacity data centers needed to attract other digital investments, such as cloud service providers, gaming publishers, video streaming service operators and content delivery network (CDN) operators to localize their services inside the Kingdom.

The Ministry has set an ambitious plan to establish a strong and advanced digital infrastructure, including the development of hyper-scale data centers that accommodate the high demand for cloud services and enable Saudi Arabia to become a computing powerhouse and the digital hub for the region.

The plan is to accelerate data centers development within the Kingdom to surpass the 1,300-Megawatt mark before the year 2030, with expected investments of over $18 billion in data center and renewable energy serving the region.

To achieve this feat, the Ministry has been working closely with the private sector including local and international investors on structuring business principles for data center development in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted Bassam Al Bassam, deputy minister for telecom and digital infrastructure at MCIT as saying, “We are enabling local champions to play a bigger role in the coming phase of Saudi Vision 2030, to increase the growth of hyper-scale co-location capacity data centers needed to attract other digital investments, such as cloud service providers, gaming publishers, video streaming service operators and content delivery network (CDN) operators to localize their services inside the Kingdom.”

The government of Saudi Arabia has made great efforts to stimulate the development of the country’s digital infrastructure and enhance its role in connecting the globe.

The government had also launched a nationwide initiative to connect 3.5 million households by FTTH, covered 70% of the rural households in remote areas with wireless broadband networks, covered more than 74 cities with 5G technology and launched the first neutral Internet Exchange Point in Saudi Arabia (SAIX).

The Kingdom is home to three of the largest telecom operators in the region and the biggest ICT and emerging technology market with a value exceeding $35 billion as of 2020.

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