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STC to invest $800m in cloud and data centres

Alibaba Cloud enters the race as a partner as Kingdom steps up digital roadmap ahead of 2030 drive to be a cloud-first nation.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

December 29, 2020 | 11:50 AM GMT

Saudi Arabia state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (stc) has unveiled plans to invest US$500 million in cloud services and a further $270 million in new data centre sites. 

Firstly, stc and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia entered a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud to provide high-performance public cloud services in the Kingdom.

The project falls under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to modernise and digitise the country in the coming decade using cloud services and modern internet infrastructure. 

“This collaboration is a significant milestone for stc in our efforts to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by introducing a trusted cloud service partner,” Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha told the Saudi Press Agency.

As if half a billion Dollars was not enough, stc unveiled an additional SR1 billion ($270 million) in the construction of three large data centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Madina.

The sites have been designed to host telecommunications equipment and digital cloud infrastructure, with stc adopting Next Generation build technology through modular and prefabricated solutions, affirming business continuity and service uptime. 

The three facilities have been built with over 150 prefabricated modules (PFM’s), fully equipped with power, thermal management and IT infrastructure. Providing 10.8 MW of critical IT power (white space ready) expandable to 16.8 MW. Phase 2 of the program, already in construction, will bring the total Critical IT Power to 40.8 MW. 

The company added that in the short-term future it will expand its mission critical white space to more than 105 MW of data centre IT power across the Kingdom utilising the same model. 

Nasser Al-Nasser, stc’s EO said: “The successful completion and transformation of stc’s mission-critical offering, will enable the next step in digital services to be delivered throughout the Kingdom. This first milestone achievement is only the beginning.” 

stc’s major objective is to “fundamentally transform the Kingdom’s network architecture”, moving towards advanced digital software services, and provide resilience enhanced mission-critical white space to hosting customers and hyper-scalers. It also aspires to further improve operational efficiencies and scalability, reduce latency, and implement cloud services, artificial intelligence and automation.

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Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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