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King Saud University recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Etihad Etisalat, the Saudi communications giant better known as Mobily, a partnership that will link the Riyadh Techno Valley (RTV) with the national fiber optics network and extend its World Wide Web presence.
Signed by KSU Rector Abdullah Al-Othman and Mobily Chief Operating Officer Abdulaziz Altamami, the agreement was preceded by thorough studies done on RTV's unique communications infrastructure needs.
Mobily is now set to install RTV's communications system and fiber optics network, and provide unique smart mosque services to RTV mosques and intelligent services in all project installations. Intelligent services will provide reduced operating costs for RTV buildings in addition to enhancing RTV’s ability to utilize advanced communications technologies.
Mobily is also designing and assessing services needed for a smart building, which will be unique to RTV administrative buildings, and provide KSU with 200 million Riyals (US$53.3 million) to establish a research and infrastructure development center and training programs.
Al-Othman said that providing intelligent services in the project, especially in communications, is a prerequisite for the success of future projects. He added that developing RTV’s electronic infrastructure based on Mobily’s needs analyses and making the Ibtikar Tower a smart building are milestones in KSU’s development.
Dr. Al-Othman said equipping RTV with cutting-edge equipment serves its seminal purpose of technology transfer and innovation and creativity support. He added that this agreement underscores KSU’s objective of spreading the culture of a knowledge-based community by providing modern technologies and developing intelligent buildings.
Riyadh Techno Valley is a key component in the long-range strategy of converting the Kingdom to a knowledge-based economy. RTV was established on the Riyadh campus of King Saud University as a science and technology park to enhance the research environment, attract global investment, and encourage the development and spin-off of knowledge-based companies.
Etihad Etisalat was established in 2004 by a consortium led by Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom conglomerate. Mobily, the official brand name of Etihad Etisalat, is Saudi Arabia's second biggest mobile service provider.