Saudi Arabia wins WSIS award for free wifi initiative

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia won the World Summit prize of the Information Society (WSIS) 2021, awarded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for its free wifi initiative which aims to improve quality of life by offering internet services in public places, Saudi news agency, SPA, reported.

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The Kingdom’s achievement, represented by STC, Mobily and Zain, comes within the initiative’s role in achieving the strategic goals of the telecommunications sector to enable the Saudi transformation into a digital society as one of the main pillars of achieving the Saudi Vision 2030.

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The results were announced during the opening of WSIS 2021, which was held virtually Tuesday, in the presence of ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao and representatives of the WSIS member states, as well as the Saudi Governor of Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Mohammed Bin Saud Al Tamimi.

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The prize was awarded to the Free Wi-Fi Points Initiative, which was launched in November last year and set an ambitious action plan to provide 60,000 free wifi points in public places across the Kingdom, including holy sites, universities, hospitals, malls and public places.

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The initiative benefited more than 800,000 people in six months.

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The initiative’s superiority over several global projects nominated for the award is a reflection of the position of the telecommunications sector at the international level and the level of development the sector’s infrastructure is witnessing as a result of the continuous support of the wise leadership to accelerate digital transformation projects and activate the role of technology in various sectors, including government services, healthcare, education, and entertainment.

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