stc Group said that it intends to establish a premier digital hub for the MENA region, in cooperation with regional and international partners. This is expected to create an ecosystem of advanced technology services that will establish Saudi Arabia as a leading business hub in the region, and meet the expected future growth in services and investments in the ICT sector. This will be achieved by taking advantage of the Kingdom's strategic location at the intersection of three continents, and promoting investment in international connectivity services and data centers to leverage the Group's various assets, services, and advanced technologies. A number of next generation multi-terabit cables are currently in the planning stages to meet the very high cloud and content demands predicted in the future, and the first of those to come to the region will land with stc.
Existing assets, which stc will bring to this initiative, include its extensive international submarine cable network, which already offers the highest connectivity to the world for the region. This is achieved through stc's investment in a state of the art optical mesh, which ensures continuous service availability in the event of any cable outages by offering low latency to Europe from the Red Sea, and from the Gulf, and by leveraging the terrestrial cross border network. stc’s optical terrestrial network connects to all neighboring countries, allowing it to offer faster connectivity to customers in many countries than they can achieve through the submarine cables.
The Group's future investments are expected to strengthen Saudi Arabia's position as the natural home for the region’s digital services. The Kingdom has an enviable combination of infrastructure assets today, making it the first among G20 countries in terms of digital competitiveness during the past 30 years, according to a report by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, which is based on the report of the World Economic Forum, in line with Vision 2030 which is the country's roadmap to becoming a hub connecting the three continents for multiple sectors. This world class digital ecosystem could achieve this goal and turn this vision into reality.
stc Group is a primary investor partner of the 2Africa submarine cable project, which will deliver very high capacity interconnectivity between the three continents. The Group will land this submarine cable in the Red Sea, and will extend it into the Gulf, linking multiple countries. It will also will facilitate multi-terabit connection to the North West region of Saudi Arabia, in support of the Kingdom’s ambitious plans for Neom project, and onwards to Jordan.