Aramco Digital and Intel have announced plans to establish the first Open Radio Access Network (RAN) Development Center in Saudi Arabia. 

With plans to commence operations in 2024, the center will serve as an innovation hub, promoting collaboration among engineers, researchers, and industry experts from both companies.  

It will focus on fostering local talent and contributing to the country’s economy in line with Vision 2030 goals. 

The Open RAN Development Center will offer training and practical experience to local talent in the burgeoning fields of Open RAN and Edge computing technologies.  

As a subsidiary of Middle East energy giant Aramco, Aramco Digital’s contribution to the alliance would include its understanding of Saudi Arabia’s developmental needs and the potential for Open RAN technology within the Kingdom.   

Intel will bring its knowledge of Open RAN technology to the alliance.  

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This collaboration is expected to have a far-reaching impact, integrating Saudi Arabia into the international Open RAN and Edge computing development network. 

Aramco Digital CEO Tareq Amin said: “This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to helping drive innovation in the Kingdom. The Open RAN Development Center is expected to be a catalyst for digital evolution, providing a platform for collaboration, skill development and the creation of a vibrant technology ecosystem.  

“At the heart of this collaboration is the creation of a vibrant pool of local capabilities for advanced 5G and future 6G technologies.” 

Intel senior vice president and general manager of the network and edge group Sachin Katti said: “We are pleased to collaborate on Open RAN with Aramco Digital and to combine Intel’s technological prowess in network and edge computing and software with the local insights and industry leadership of Aramco Digital.  

“Together, we aim to accelerate the deployment of edge-native Open RAN solutions in Saudi Arabia and beyond.”  

Earlier in January 2024, Intel announced plans to acquire French chip startup Silicon Mobility.