Neom Tech and Digital Holding Company have signed a USD 200 million joint venture agreement with OneWeb. The agreement aims to bring high-speed satellite connectivity to Neom, Saudi Arabia, the broader Middle East and neighbouring East African countries.
The partnership will see OneWeb deploy its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, which will provide rapid and reliable connectivity to enable the Saudi city’s ecosystem of cognitive technologies. Furthermore, it will transform businesses and rural communities in the region where access to fibre-like internet was previously unimaginable.
In addition, the agreement includes a long-term strategic partnership regarding the research and development of future connectivity systems. It also builds on the relationship between OneWeb, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), and the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA).
Khalid Al Falih, the Minister of Investment, said: “It is a great pleasure to witness the signing of the joint venture between Neom and OneWeb, which is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s promising future in space technology sectors. Today’s agreement will contribute to economic growth and accelerate digital and communications knowledge transfer to the kingdom through the transformative Neom vision.”
“As the Ministry of Investment works to implement the National Investment Strategy recently launched by HRH the Crown Prince, we will continue to support this and other differentiated initiatives and projects and look forward to seeing it come to fruition in the near future”, he stated.
In addition, Abdullah Al Swaha, Minister of MCIT, said: “This ground-breaking joint venture shows the power of collaboration between nations, and with the private sector. By working together, we will bring digital connectivity to a region of more than a billion people, opening access to life-changing opportunities in education, healthcare and the job market. We are one step closer to ensuring that no child is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
Currently, OneWeb uses the latest security protection employed in advanced mobile networks. Neom Tech & Digital Hold Co. will be trialling technologies to provide further security protection and testing new, more robust and resistant positioning and navigation solutions.
On the strategic deal, Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb’s Executive Chairman, said, “This will help realise our joint vision of boosting connectivity in Saudi Arabia, the Middle-East and East Africa. Moreover, it exemplifies the model through which OneWeb’s services will reach unconnected or poorly connected regions – through cooperation with international governments and local partners.”
By working with Neom Tech & Digital Hold Company, OneWeb will support the ambitions of Neom, connecting businesses and communities and supporting the resilience of connectivity systems across the wider region.
The partnership supports Neom Tech & Digital Hold Co.’s international connectivity strategy, which will use connections to sub-sea and terrestrial communications cables, the construction of 5G and fibre networks, and now Leo satellites to secure access to tens of terabytes of scalable capacity for both urban and rural businesses and communities in Neom by 2030