Building the largest data center project in the Middle East, stc aims to enable digital transformation in the government and private sectors through digital economy, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, computing and automation according to KSA Vision 2030. The project consists of 16 data centers with 17,000 storing units serving 8 parallel sites spread over 6 cities with a maximum capacity of 125 MW. It seeks to double the current digital capacity to more than 300 MW in a quick response to demand in the local market. The project consists of 3 phases: 3 data centers in Riyadh, Jeddah and Medina in first phase, 4 in the second and the rest in the third phase to make up a total of 16 centers.
The Group has announced an agreement with Alibaba Cloud to invest $500 million in cloud services. stc has recently received a cloud service provider certificate to be the first globally accredited Saudi company in this field. The Group’s Digital Operations Control Center in Riyadh is the largest integrated operation center in the region. Connected to more than 4 marine cables, the center operates the largest international portals, with a capacity of more than 8.4 tbps. It contains the latest protection and distribution systems in the world used for the first time in the region to protect company service system in general and the service and solution system for transfer of data and audio services for all customers. The center also includes the largest cybersecurity operations center in the region.
Recently, stc announced creation of data centers at several Gulf markets. stc Bahrain signed an agreement with the Bahraini Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications to establish the largest data center spanning 55,000 square meters as one of the early energy-efficient initiatives. This step can encourage local creators to take a step forward towards the use of renewable energy and push for new horizons for digital transformation. It also helps leverage and diversify the local economy, which is in line with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030.
Another initiative announced by stc is MENA Hub; a major digital hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. With an investment of $1 billion, the hub will be created in cooperation with regional and international partners, highlighting the Saudi leadership in the ICT sector and the great potential of stc as the biggest telecommunications company in the Middle East and promoting economy and GDP growth in the Kingdom. Connecting three continents, the hub is utilizing the Kingdom’s strategic location to scale up investments in international communication services and data centers. Investing in a fiber optic grid, the project entails installation of highly efficient cables to meet the future cloud needs and ensure uninterrupted service.
Looking ahead into the future, stc wants to localize this important sector. It has signed an agreement with Huawei to explore the possibility of bringing a local facility to the Kingdom for data center manufacturing. Once it starts operation, this facility will help develop the data center sector and localize its industry in the Kingdom, through transfer of global knowledge, technology and expertise from Huawei in cooperation with local manufacturers. With this step, stc seeks to provide data center equipment locally and at a lower cost, thus keeping pace with technologies globally and creating new local industries and an attractive environment for business and technical innovation. This will, in turn, support significant support for the local content and help achieve the goals of KSA Vision 2030.
Through data centers, stc offers its cloud services that enable customers from government and private sectors, including SMEs, to store data outside the personal device in a safe and reliable environment. It also uses capacities that are tailored for customer’s needs without having to build a data center and cloud computing systems. It also enables upsizing or downsizing the range of capacity according to the technical needs of each company. It provides integrated protection for preservation of stored data and applications. Data centers also contribute to digital services, games and e-sports, online streaming services, content service operators and other digital platforms.