US-based technology vendor Cisco Systems has been contracted to design the ICT infrastructure for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) by project developer Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar E C). The networking giant will also provide network consultancy and advisory services as part of its Connected Real Estate initiative. Located on the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah, the 168 million square metre KAEC development is being billed as the world’s first ‘Smart City’. Work is progressing on the first phase of the project including a port, industrial zone and residential communities. Cisco is already developing the communications network for Saudi Arabia’s Knowledge Economic City (KEC). KEC is expected to spend USD266 million on building the communications infrastructure to connect its 4.8 million square metre development, and a total of USD6.6 billion on ICT over twelve years.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Cisco is also one of the partners of Nuetel Communications, which is building an ‘Intelligent City’ in the Amwaj Islands, a group of man-made islands covering 2.8 million square metres northeast of Bahrain, with facilities including a shared fibre network to support triple-play applications, as well as managed ‘intelligent utilities.’ The UK’s BT Group is another partner in the new-build project.