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MCIT and Nokia to Launch R&D Unit in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology [MCIT] entered into an agreement with Nokia to launch the Nokia R&D unit for developing software in Saudi Arabia. The agreement has been signed by H.E Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Haitham Bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Ohali, and Amr K. El Leithy, Head of the Middle East and Africa Market, Nokia, in the presence of H.E Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Abdullah Bin Amer Alswaha and Rajeev Suri, the President and CEO of Nokia as well as a number of officials and dignitaries of both the parties.

The cooperation aims to establish a Nokia software development unit and the Bell Labs research unit in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the cooperation envisages the establishment of a maintenance center for base station components. The center will primarily serve Saudi Arabia, with a possibility to cover Gulf Cooperation Council Members in the future. Additionally, local talent development training programs and collaboration programs in 5G and IoT will be established. Furthermore, it will also envisage MCIT supporting Nokia in joint programs together with the Saudi Digital Academy.

Based on the cooperation, Nokia experts will provide ICT consultancy services, and present trends and opportunities especially in areas such as spectrum allocation. Both parties will work on accelerating the efforts in the digital transformation of the energy sector, by developing the digital skills of the sector’s staff members to realize Saudi ICT Strategy 2023 that aims to establish a strong digital infrastructure. Such digital infrastructure will contribute to the acceleration of digital transformation process and realization of 2030 Saudi Vision. The cooperation will also enhance the role of the ICT sector to build a digital society, digital government and digital economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, the cooperation aims to train young talents in digital technologies to indigenize the software industry and develop local content. It will also establish two research and software development units for developing high-quality products by the company in Saudi Arabia. The cooperation also envisages creating an environment that attracts local and international investments into the technology industry and enables knowledge transfer, in addition to creating job opportunities in line with Saudi Vision 2030 towards diversifying the national economy.

It is important to note that, in the last few years, MCIT has entered into partnerships with several companies in the sector to enhance integration and cooperation and accelerate realizing Saudi Vision 2030.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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