Saudi Telecom targets 500,000 homes with fibre this year

05 May 2012

(MENAFN) Saudi Telecom Co (STC) is hoping to reach up to 500,000 homes across the kingdom with optical fibre for high-speed broadband this year, Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia’s 26.5 million people had 1.95 million fixed broadband subscriptions at the end of 2011, according to the telecoms regulator.

CEO Jameel Al Mulhem said that STC targets 500,000 homes by the end of this year and go up to 2 million in 2013.

STC and rivals Mobily and Zain Saudi seek to undergo next generation long-term evolution (LTE) mobile networks, which potentially offer twice the internet speeds of 3G. However their plans were being hampered by a lack of spectrum.

Mobile operator in the kingdom were unable to launch LTE using their preferred frequency, therefore they had to reallocate frequencies that were meant to be for other services.

Only 18,500 are high-speed fibre-to-the-home (FFTH) connections, Informa Telecoms and Media estimates.

Informa estimates there were only an estimated 12,500 LTE users in Saudi Arabia at March-end.

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