1998 News Story

Saudi Arabia active in internaitonal communications organizations

The Arab Communications Ministers Council (ACMC) concluded its fourth session in Cairo today, and called for coordination among Arab member states in the operation of digital mobile telephones, by activating bilateral agreements, setting appropriate frequencies, and developing the related technical characteristics. The meeting came to a number of decisions, including agreement that a memorandum of understanding be signed with the European postal and communications conference. The achievements of the Council since their third session include enhancement of the Arab regional link by light cables, cost reductions in most member states, and the election of six Arab countries to the board of directors of the International Communications Union (ICU), one of which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Abdulaziz Ibn Ibrahim Al-Mani is representing Saudi Arabia - the current president of the Council - in place of Minister of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones Dr. Ali Al-Juhani, who has a heavy schedule with the on-going privatization of the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom. Dr. Al-Mani reported that the Kingdom is currently implementing the sixth expansion of its telephone network, to bring the total to 2.9 million lines, plus almost 600,000 lines for mobile phones. He told the meeting that the international transit station in Jeddah is now fully operational. He informed the Council that Saudi Arabia is currently considering joining the International Disaster Communications Agreement recently signed in Finland, and hopes soon to be a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He announced that the Kingdom plans to present its candidature for re-election to the board of directors of the International Postal Union during elections to be held in Beijing next year.