Saudi Telecom Company (STC) implements Blockchain Logistics with NUPCO in KSA

STC also signs agreement to implement blockchain solution with the Ministry of Housing

UNLOCK met and interviewed. Mr. Riyadh Muawad, Vice President – B2B Sales & Business Development for Government & Large Corporate Accounts, at Saudi Telecom Company at GITEX 2018. As Muawad explained, “STC has been investing heavily in new technological trends and Blockchain is one of the hottest today. Four months ago we signed a memorandum of understanding with ConsenSys and other companies both local and international to help build our blockchain capabilities. Today we moved from announcements into developing actual use cases with both governmental and private sector.”

He adds, “We just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NUPCO (National Unified Procurement Company) for Medical Supplies which is the largest company of its kind in the Middle East. NUPCO is responsible for centralizing procurements, warehousing, distribution and re-exporting of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies for governmental and private sector.” He added, “We will be working with NUPCO to enhance their health supply chain process, and bring innovation and improved governmental transactions. We are building the first blockchain use case for supply chain optimization and the project is already underway. This is an important project as NUPCO is one of the two main providers of pharmaceutical products for the KSA government.”

This is not the only blockchain use case STC is developing in KSA, as Muawad explained, “ We are working on many use cases spanning across different sectors and industries including transportation, logistics, corporate entities, banking, airlines, oil and gas, governmental and others. We have seen huge interest from key clients who want to be on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and blockchain solves many issues mostly those of collaborations and security.”

In addition Muawad believes, “STC has all the means to become a major player in blockchain given its strong cyber security platform in combination with its ability to provide blockchain solutions.” STC has already trained 5 blockchain developers in its first round of training program with Consensys. He adds, “By the end of the year we hope to have trained another 15 local Saudi talents, some of whom are already from STC pool and some from outside. Our next batch of trained professional on Ethereum will graduate in November.”

Muawad believes while there will be some replications of use cases already implemented globally, there will also be unique use cases for customers in KSA and these will be developed from scratch. One such example is the latest agreement with KSA Ministry of Housing. Muawad states, “We are developing a unique blockchain use case for the Ministry of Housing in KSA to help them fulfill their strategic initiatives and play their role in 2030 national digitization vision.”

While STC is open to using different blockchain platforms. Muawad feels that Ethereum is well positioned and serves STC’s interest at this point in time. He states, “Ethereum has the ecosystem, reach, knowledge and maturity, and while we are always in open discussions with other platform providers we are happy with the relationship with Ethereum.”

Lara Abdul Malak

Lara has been a journalist and writer in the technology field since her graduation from AUB majoring in political science. She has had career in corporation communications in the telecom sector and was part of the launch of first 3G network in the GCC and MENA region. Since her return to journalism she has been focused with passion on blockchain, tokenization, crypto focusing on the GCC and MENA region.

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