Telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed an open access agreement to boost fibre to the home (FTTH) connectivity. The services will be provided through any selected provider in the Kingdom.
Currently, the Kingdom has an internet penetration rate of 93 percent. The agreement between the Kingdom’s all six telecom operators and ISPs is anticipated to increase the availability of next generation FTTH, media reports said.
More than ten commercial agreements were signed between the operators following the completion of 90 workshops. These workshops were regulated by the Fiber Bitstream Rules and Guidelines published last year.
Now the Kingdom has more than 900,000 FTTH subscribers. The Kingdom is working toward having FTTH connectivity in additional 3.5 million properties by 2020, media reports said. Nearly 41.8 percent residents in the Kingdom have access to FTTH fixed line.
However, in the UAE the percentage is as high as 98 percent — and in Oman it is 22.6 percent. The Middle East and North Africa region have an FTTH of 55.5 percent.
Dr Mohammed Al Tamimi, governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), told the media, “The adoption of an open access model will increase the use of our fibre-optic infrastructure through the development of commercial agreements that make it easier for subscribers to move from one provider to another.”
The agreement was signed by CEOs of major telecom firms such as STC, Mobily, Zain, Etihad Atheeb Telecom (Go), Integrated Telecom Company (ITC) and Integrated Dawiyat, media reports said.