MENAFN - Arab News
Saudi - ICT motivating firms toward network-based structure
(MENAFN - Arab News) Technology has always been innovative because of its ability to reshape everyday activities while the increasing demand for a global and digital marketplace is pushing firms to move away from traditional hierarchical forms of decision-making toward a more organic, network-based structure.
"Information and Communication Technology (ICT) nurtures innovation and helps people to realize their ideas for new companies, products and services. It provides access to a market far greater than what was previously possible for startups and making the future of business unpredictable," said Ali Eid, president of Ericsson in Saudi Arabia, in an interview with Arab News at the Networked Society Forum in Dubai.
Eid said: "Ericssons main strategy is to focus on the mobile broadband and manage broadband services with good infrastructure because we believe that mobile broadband will be needed to handle all the traffic efficiently. In fact, Saudi Arabia is one of the most advanced in the Middle East and around the globe."
Eid also said: "We have the most modern technologies, including 4G network. The biggest consumers of YouTube videos around the world are also from Saudi Arabia."
Eid added: "We have three major advanced markets for the data and mobile broadband, which is from South Korea and Japan, but Saudi Arabia is not so far from those countries. Due to the Kingdoms political stability, its economy is still booming and the market is most stable. This stability encourages the investors and vendors to continue investing in Saudi Arabia as it is a very stable market."
"Speed is one of the major factors that we are facing in the ICT market. The operators in Saudi Arabia are investing quickly in building their infrastructure and putting more resources on the work. This important step will enhance the GDP of the Kingdom," Eid added.
"Commercial networks serve around 455 million people worldwide. About 300 million of them are covered by Ericsson networks while 2 billion users are already served by Ericssons charging and billing solutions. We need the operators to invest heavily while the prices are getting lower. How to monetize the data traffic and get revenue from this traffic is becoming more important," he said.
Technology is giving us the freedom to challenge established models and to find solutions to the problems our society faces. Many academic reports highlight the connection between ICT and economic development.
"ICT is facilitating some of the most fundamental human needs such as education, health, safety and security. It is giving the freedom to choose and how to create, collaborate, communicate, share, and open up opportunities to develop and prosper," Eid said.
"ICT has become an integral part of our working and living environment and will continue to be an important resources for business, government and society at large," he said, adding that a society is networked when people, businesses and society use connectivity to their benefits and help realize this together with suppliers and customers globally.
"Saudi government is giving a lot of attention to the ICT market. The authorities are also provided many facilities to the operators and vendors and creating right platforms to enhance and grow the economy of the Kingdom," Eid said.
He said Ericsson plans to continue growing in Saudi Arabia. It is the most important market for us in the region. The Kingdom is a promising market with high benefit rates and we are also building local resources.
"The Kingdom is a very sustainable and growing market toward resources. With the cooperation of some of the operators, we start fresh graduate programs to hire talented Saudi people and train them properly. Our aim is to build an ICT competence within the local market," he added.
Social media is more active than telecommunication.
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are contributing to the development of communication technology in the Gulf and worldwide.
"New technologies are connecting everything and everyone, creating opportunities for people, business and governments around the world. In the worlds top 100 cities, we have provided 40 percent of the mobile telecommunications infrastructure and are a leader in innovative smart city solutions," Eid added.
Today, 91 percent of the worlds population has access to mobile communications; video dominates smart phone and tablet traffic, and in a few short years more than half the worlds population will benefit from these devices.
Ericsson is planning to invest around SEK7 billion in the coming five years to build three global ICT centers.
Two of the centers will be located in Sweden - in Stockholm and Linkoping - while the third one in Canada.
Ericsson is shaping the future of mobile and broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 180 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world, he said.
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