Eng. Abdullah Bin Amer Al-Sawaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Space Commission (SSC), has announced a $200 million partnership between NEOM and OneWeb. This pioneering venture will create a satellite network that will transform the face of broadband Internet across the MENA region, allowing for new business models.
In a dialogue session entitled ‘Connection of Digital Economy to Space Economy’, as part of the activities of the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative conference, Eng. Al-Sawaha said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s presidency of G20 last year took it upon itself to reduce the digital gap, because we do not accept the exclusion of billions of people from participating in the digital economy due to their inability to connect to the Internet, and we do not accept that the school digital experience offered to a child living in a remote area is less than the one we all enjoy.”
This pioneering venture will create a satellite network that will transform the face of broadband Internet across the MENA region
He explained that the Saudi space sector has fantastic potential for investors, pointing out that the Kingdom’s size and proximity to the equator make it a perfect place for launching satellites, with 15,000 expected to be launched by 2030.
The MCIT minister also noted that the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has established centers of excellence in collaboration with both the California Institute of Technology and Stanford, and that a Saudi research team would join the Chinese space station in 2022.