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Aramco Digital gets 450 MHz licence to serve Saudi Industry 4.0

Aramco Digital, the digital technology services subsidiary of state-owned Saudi oil and gas company Saudi Aramco, has obtained a specialized license to use the 450 MHz band in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to create various types of private enterprise networks to support Industry 4.0 activities, including including those collected in the growing “Nawat” enterprise app store. The 450 MHz band is not available for public telecommunications activities.

It is unclear whether Saudi Aramco will sublease local tranches of the 450 MHz band for standalone enterprise networks, or whether it will join and enhance localized enterprise networks to a dedicated nationwide 5G industrial infrastructure. The government said the spectrum is intended to help industrial, energy, transportation, healthcare and other national sectors with digital change projects, as well as enable “fourth industrial revolution applications and the industrial Internet of Things.”

Saudi Arabia’s Communications, Space and Technology (CST) Commission said Aramco Digital had “completed regulatory procedures” for the license. It was stated: “The license is intended to serve the industrial and business sectors by creating a dedicated network, independent of cellular networks, operating based on the latest global wireless technologies. This network will aim to meet the specialized needs of different sectors.

On social media, Tareq Amin, CEO of Aramco Digital, said: “(This) is a significant milestone not only for Aramco Digital, but for the entire digital landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am confident that now is the right time to leverage the industrial spectrum as an enabler for a large-scale digitization initiative across the kingdom… Aramco Digital will deploy a mission-critical mobile network of the future, leveraging cutting-edge technologies.”

He talked about “creating a horizontal telecommunications cloud… based on Aramco Digital’s secure public cloud” and about the storefront chosen by Aramco Digital – called Nawat; working ala an application store model in consumer gadgets – applications and solutions for enterprises, for various applications of Industry 4.0. “Aramco Digital’s vision goes far beyond providing simple connectivity services; focuses on delivering effective digitalization use cases to companies across industries,” he said.

“Nawat enables enterprises to leverage industrial digitalization use cases as a service and fosters a large and open ecosystem of enterprises, ISVs, application service providers and independent developers… Inspired by Vision 2030, Aramco Digital is committed to growing the local economy and enabling small and large companies to thrive in the digital age.” Solondais

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