Nokia Plugs In to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030


Mar. 21 2018, Updated 9:01 a.m. ET

Saudi Arabia working to diversify its economy

Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle East, has drawn up a plan to diversify its economy so as to reduce its reliance on oil revenue. Its plan, called Vision 2030, includes the development of sectors such as hospitality, telecom (telecommunications), and IT (information technology) along with the general digitization of the economy. Nokia (NOK) has found a way to fit into this vision.

As Saudi telecom providers align their goals with Vision 2030, they’re turning to Nokia to help them upgrade their networks. As a result, Nokia has won several network improvement contracts with Saudi telecom companies in recent months.

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Nokia part of team upgrading Mobily’s network

In August 2017, Mobily (also known as ETIHAD Etisalat) signed Nokia, Ericsson (ERIC), and Huawei to upgrade its mobile network at a cost of roughly $640 million.

In March 2017, Saudi telecom providers Zain Saudi Arabia and STC (Saudi Telecom Company) signed Nokia for contracts that involved preparing their networks for 5G (fifth-generation) and IoT (Internet of Things) use cases. Worldwide, the number of IoT devices is expected to reach 125 billion by 2030, up sharply from 27 billion devices in 2017, according to IHS Markit.

In March 2018, Nokia expanded its relationship with Zain Saudi Arabia, signing an agreement that would see the companies cooperate in incubating the creativity of Saudi youth to enable them to develop technological solutions to serve local needs.

Pursuing Saudi’s Vision 2030

Cisco (CSCO), Amazon (AMZN), and Google’s parent, Alphabet (GOOGL), are some of the multinational IT providers that seem keen on plugging in to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.


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