GaStat: Over 7,400 employees providing IT services for Hajj

Around 7,411 employees are working around the clock in order to deliver adequate and improved telecom services to pilgrims. The Communications and Information Technology Commission supervises the services in accordance with authorized service providers.

According to the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), the number of branch offices of telecom services reached 69 offices in Makkah this year, and the total number of 2G, 3G and 4G cell towers was 15,972 towers and that is to ensure and extend the coverage of mobile network and data in Makkah, Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat, Madinah and at the Grand Mosque. Additionally, telecom and Internet services are available at air, land, and sea ports as well as all roads to serve pilgrims at anytime and anywhere.

The percentage of increase in the number of 4G cell towers was at 42.90% at the Grand Mosque, 24.40% in Makkah, 106.00% at the holy places, and 24.50% in Madinah. Also, the percentage of increase of 4G network capacity at the peak hours for this year reached 80.00% at the Holy Mosque, 84.00% in Makkah, 182.00% at the holy places, and 36.30% in Madinah.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has launched ''Smart Hajj'' application this year on ''Saudi'' portal to provide digital services. Moreover, the ministry has also made a list of the distinguished interactive apps in order to identify Hajj rituals and to help pilgrims to benefit from technology when moving between the holy places. Also, the ministry has put a number of guidelines, health apps and some government applications that may help pilgrims and Umrah performers in Makkah and Madinah.

In addition, the Communications and Information Technology Commission branch in Makkah periodically checks the sound and internet indicators, ensures their effectiveness, scans the frequency bands of mobile networks at the Two Grand Mosques as well as the connected highways between Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah to ensure the quality of mobile services. It also deals with any harmful interference that may affect the performance of the network and allows the use of frequencies of each mobile service provider to increase the capacity of the network and improve the level of services provided to pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah and the holy places.

Saudi Arabia's telecommunications companies have more than 460 sales points available at the holy places to provide SIM cards, data SIM cards, and recharge cards, as well as providing technical support centers with various languages to serve the pilgrims.

Source: International Islamic News Agency