Spending on telecom and IT in Saudi Arabia is poised to grow by more than 6% to SR108.7 billion ($407m) in 2014, according to IDC. Spending on telecom will grow, to SR102.6 billion.
In the past 13 years (2001-2013), spending on telecom and IT in the Kingdom reached a total of SR731.5 billion, growing from SR18 billion in 2001 to SR103 billion last year, according to the research.
The continued growth in the telecom and IT sector is represented in the growing number of IT services, which were made available to the public, notably in the areas of e-government, banking and health care services.
In the last five years, the majority of ministries and government agencies have launched e-services to both citizens and residents, and all banks were linked up with government departments to facilitate payment services.
On mobile networks, operators in the Kingdom were among the first global companies to introduce Long Term Evolution (LTE), or 4G, technology. Regarding fixed-line networks, the implementation of fibre optic networks in buildings has remarkably increased the number of subscribers to broad-band services.
Within the last ten years, Saudi Arabian IT companies narrowed IT gap with developed countries and as from 2005, they have injected huge investments in the IT infrastructure projects in a number of fields such as mobile, fixed-line networks, IT facilities and e-government.