On February 20, 2019, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), in partnership with Saudi Telecom Company (STC), witnessed the first launch of the fifth generation technology (5G) internally in the Middle East and North Africa. This latest communication technology was launched in the presence of KFUPM Rector, Dr. Sahel Abduljauwad and a number of KFUPM officials.
On this occasion, Dr. Abduljauwad expressed his pride that KFUPM is the first to launch and test the technology internally (inside university buildings) in the region. He pointed out that this technology will make a huge difference in the field of communications. He stressed that KFUPM is one of the leading institutions in the Kingdom and the region that works on the development and localization of modern technologies. As a result, 5G will benefit the Kingdom in promoting national development and achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. KFUPM continues to develop academic programs utilizing the latest technology in modern education and developing its infrastructure to keep a pace with the latest technology through the implementation of many technical projects.
Dr. Abdul-Jawad reviewed the new technology, its unique features as well as the services it provides and the achieved results. The technology was tested internally at the College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (Building 76). The service will be introduced during this academic year. He also expressed his happiness that some of KFUPM graduates are participating in the project team.
Mr. Yazeed Alsaleh, Project Management and Control Section Manager (Indoor Building Solutions) said that the company launched the fifth generation technology project and started the project on external towers in mid-2018. He noted that his company is proud to launch the first in-house technology experience in the buildings in partnership with Huawei and KFUPM was the best choice for the implementation of this technology. Mr. Alsaleh also said that high speeds were achieved during the technical test, which was a positive indicator to promote the launching of the service commercially in the middle of 2019.
He explained that 5G technology would make a huge difference to Internet speed and the speed of responses in the connection, which will enable many applications to function could not do so without this technology. For example, as the Internet of things and self-driving cars, which require high response speed. In addition, the technology can be used in other applications such as health, which will have a significant impact on people’s lives.
Mr. Alsaleh stresses that KFUPM is a pioneer in the field of technology in the Kingdom and the region with many leaders in various sectors KFUPM graduates. Hence, this was the best choice for the launch of technology in the Kingdom because KFUPM is a source of technical development.
He added that the actual launch of the service will be completed in mid-2019 in several locations. KFUPM will be the first site to launch the service.
Finally, Mr. Alsaleh noted that the world is witnessing an accelerated race for the development of 5G networks, the fifth generation of the high speed cellular networks following the current 3G and 4G networks. Scientists are showing unprecedented enthusiasm for the new technology and expect that the fifth generation networks will change the way of life dramatically.