In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, Salam CEO Ahmed Al-Anqari proudly discussed the company’s reputation as well as its participation in LEAP 2023, its contributions toward the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation and its goals in the new year.
How do you aim to advance your reputation as the fastest-growing and most innovative Saudi telecom brand?
Since our founding in 2005, we’ve been proud of what we have achieved. Today, Salam is a leading Saudi telecom company with one of the region’s most established telecom networks. Our solutions span virtually the whole digital and telecommunications spectrum. By staying agile and staying ahead of fast-changing and fast-growing demand for technology, we have grown into a major player and vital enabler of the Kingdom’s digital transformation. And we’re just getting started. From cloud computing to AI, IoT and other smart technologies, we’re hard at work to help people and businesses work smarter, live better and become more digital and secure.
With Salam's participation in LEAP 2023 being focused on a "Green Tomorrow," can you share details on how the company will leverage technology and implement its strategy in a sustainable manner?
At Salam, we believe that a green tomorrow starts with a green today. As a company rooted in green thinking, we’re paving the way for future generations by championing responsible and sustainable technology. We believe that technology and innovation hold the key to a greener world. We have committed our resources, talent and expertise towards bringing and deploying solutions that make a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable future possible, like smart cities, AI-enabled industrial systems, the cloud, and many other smart and efficient environments.
What do you think are the evolving trends in the Saudi market that will require more of Salam's next-generation ICT solutions?
Saudi Arabia’s vision is to be the most connected and digitized nation by 2030. As one of the leading telecom providers with one of the region’s most extensive telecom networks, Salam is strongly positioned to provide next-gen ICT solutions and capacity that this future will require.
Today, we offer the only 1 Gbps fiber connection in Saudi Arabia, setting customers free to experience a fully managed digital experience without limits. We also recently launched the Salam G4M3R Pack, the first and only dedicated gamer package in the Kingdom. As a testament to our robust network speed and capacity, we were recently ranked by Ookla as having the best Internet video experience in Saudi Arabia.
I am also very pleased to say that Salam has been appointed to build a world-class telecommunications infrastructure for the landmark Diriyah Gate heritage project, a source of great pride for Salam as we actively support the Kingdom’s cultural revival.
Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of digital transformation. How do you see the telecom sector being impacted by this in the long run, and how will Salam keep up with the demand?
We are excited about the developments and potential in the sector, powered by Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation. The Kingdom’s technology market is worth over $40 billion, the largest in the region. The Kingdom is spending $1.2 billion to improve the digital skills of 100,000 Saudi youth by 2030, with a focus on programming, AI, cybersecurity and gaming. Indeed, the Kingdom is in the best position to achieve its goal of being the most connected and digitized nation by 2030, and at Salam, we’re eager to play our part. We are expanding our portfolio, expanding our network and working with leading global technology partners and our own innovation teams to open new frontiers in telecommunications and smart systems that we need today and tomorrow.
With a new year upon us, what are Salam's goals for 2023?
Salam has played a leading role in the digital transformation of the Kingdom, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this change. But even as technology moves forward at mind-boggling speed, we want to play our part with a human heart. We want technology that is not only for the future but also cares for the future. We believe in making technology more human-centric, more simple, more green and more sustainable. Our theme at this year’s LEAP event says it all: Connecting for a greener tomorrow.