Madinah’s Knowledge Economic City and Cisco to develop “smart city”

January 20, 2008

The Madinah Knowledge Economic City and the San Jose-based tech giant Cisco Systems today announced an agreement for the development of a “smart city.”

The project is designed to attract global information and communications technology (ICT) firms who wish to establish operations and research-and-development facilities in Saudi, as well as creating more than 20,000 jobs within the city. Residents should benefit as well, with the initiative providing an attractive and interconnected living environment.

Cisco will provide the network architecture for the city. All of the buildings in KEC will be interconnected and can be managed over a highly secure Internet Protocol (IP) network, allowing for centralized management and reduced operational costs for the city. The city’s network will facilitate data, voice, video and mobile communications across commercial and residential buildings.

“Smart cities rely on a being able to connect – from basic high-speed connectivity to connected real estate – and then complementing with value-added services for businesses and residents,” said KEC Chairman Sheikh Ibrahim Alissa, as quoted in the press release. “Teaming up with Cisco will help us differentiate the Knowledge Economic City with a world-class infrastructure that will help businesses reduce capital and operating expenses by being able to have more visibility across their locations and operations.”

To further develop the human capital in Saudi Arabia, Cisco is also committed to establishing the Cisco Networking Academy in the Knowledge Economic City to help train skilled professionals to design and maintain networks.