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Saudi Arabia Table of Contents

Saudi Arabia


In 1991 Saudi Arabia had one of the most modern telecommunications systems in the world. An extensive system of microwave and coaxial cables crisscrossed the country and linked Saudi Arabia with Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Tropospheric-scatter radio linked the kingdom with Sudan and undersea coaxial cables extended from points on the west coast to Egypt and to Djibouti. Telephone service was entirely automatic, and international direct-distance dialing was available to all subscribers. In 1991 the country counted 1.6 million telephones or about eleven telephones per 100 inhabitants.

Eight satellite ground stations provided worldwide transmission of telephone, telex, data, ship-to-shore, and broadcast signals. Five satellite ground stations operated with the International Telecommunication Satellite Corporation (Intelsat) Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean satellites. In addition, two satellite ground stations in the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) network could simultaneously handle 8,000 telephone calls and seven separate television channels to the twenty-two member countries of the Arabsat system. Another satellite ground station was linked to the International Marine Satellite system that provided communications to ships at sea.

Broadcast facilities were scattered across the country and most locations could receive at least one radio station. More than 100 transmitters provided television service to all urban areas. There were an estimated 5 million radio receivers and 4.5 million television sets in 1991.

Data as of December 1992