Knowledge Economic City, Cisco enter deal
Madinah, January 20, 2008
Madinah’s Knowledge Economic City (KEC) and Cisco have finalised a strategic agreement for the infrastructure development of the 'smart city' project.
Sheikh Ibrahim M. Alissa, KEC chairman, and John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco, today confirmed the agreement.
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, a statement said.
The Knowledge Economic City’s expected aggregated investment is approximately $8 billion in the overall development of the city. As part of its Connected Real Estate initiative, Cisco will provide the network architecture for the city. All buildings in KEC will be interconnected and can be managed over a highly secure Internet Protocol (IP) network, allowing for centralised 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.
KEC CEO Tahir Bawazir, Chief Technical Officer Mohammad Shah and Dr Sami Baroum, managing director of Savola Co, a major share holder in KEC, were present at the signing.
"Smart cities rely on 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 Sheikh Ibrahim. "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.”
"We are committed to boosting the Saudi economy by attracting foreign direct investments, creating jobs and encouraging Muslim scientists to relocate to Saudi by providing them with the right working and living conditions," the Sheikh added.
"Smart cities rely on a combination of connectivity, connected real estate and value added services for businesses and residents," said Bawazeer.
"Collaborating with Cisco will help us differentiate the Knowledge Economic City with world-class smart infrastructure that will help businesses reduce capital expenditure and operating expenses."
“The Knowledge City project in Saudi Arabia will demonstrate how technology innovations can bring about new levels of development of brand new cities that will help attract knowledge industries and investments while favorably impacting management and operational costs,” said Wim Elfrink, executive vice president and chief globalisation officer for Cisco. “Cisco’s Connected Real Estate initiative, developed to be a globally replicable model, has the potential to play a major role in transforming real estate developments in emerging economies.”
Cisco is also committed to establishing the Cisco Networking Academy within the Knowledge Economic City to help train skilled professionals to design and maintain networks. –TradeArabia News Service