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Saudi Telecom Company announced yesterday that it was introducing a high-speed ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) service for the Kingdom’s Internet users at a substantially low rate of SR220 a month.
 Jeddah, 3rd Jul 2001

  In an official statement carried by Saudi Press Agency, the STC also announced major reductions in charges for data transport circuits of the Internet sector, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

It said the ministers of finance and telephones have already approved the rates proposed for ADSL service which offers clients unlimited access to the Internet through ordinary phone lines 10 times faster than the present one. The STC will charge an installation fee of SR300 for the new service and it is to be paid only once.

ADSL is a new technology that allows more data to be sent on existing copper telephone lines. It supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 mbps when receiving data (known as the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 kbps when sending data (known as the upstream).

The STC said it has slashed the charges for international Internet linkage between KACST and the global network by 20 percent. It has also cut the fees of all rented circuits by 45 percent, for linking ISPs with the national network by 30 percent and the charge for contacting network ports by 50 percent. “We have also reduced the installation charge for all these services up to 70 percent,” the statement added.

The STC expects the KACST and ISPs would pass on the reduction in service charges to the end users including individuals and companies. STC has already connected more than 70 percent of ISPs with the optical cable network that allows them to have a higher speed of up to 155 Mbps. KACST will also be linked with a network having a speed of over 465 mbps.

Mirza Asrar Baig, CEO of IT Matrix, an Internet security consultant firm based in Alkhobar, told Arab News that the new STC announcement has further increased the clients’ confidence in the company. “It’s quite exciting to see that they are on target as per their plans.”
Baig said the new service and reduction in charges would encourage more companies and establishments to make use of the Internet as they are now able to connect permanently their branch offices at a very reasonable cost. However, he fears that the new announcement would be a bad news for ISPs and companies who have already invested in leased lines.

Source: Arab News©

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03 July 2001 06:34:42 PM

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