Saudi Telecom Company (STC) provides telecommunications, information technology, media services (television and broadband internet), and mobile networks and systems. STC has over 21,000 employees, 160 million customers, and operates in Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey. The company is publicly traded, with majority ownership by the Saudi Arabian government through the country's Public Investment Fund (PIF), Public Pension Agency (PPA), and General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI).
The company’s Q1 2015 net profits reached $666 million. A 30% stake of STC was sold to the private sector in December 2002, in one of the largest government sales of shares; it raised around $4 billion, and became Tadawul’s second-largest listed company (in terms of capitalization) after SABIC. Following STC’s partial privatization, and the Kingdom’s accession to the WTO in 2005, several other telecom providers have entered the Saudi market, notably Mobily in 2006 and Zain in 2008, creating competition with STC for its mobile and Internet services.
The sector is dominated by 3 telecom operators; the incumbent STC, Mobily and Zain KSA. While STC retains the primacy, Zain KSA is the fastest growing telecom with the best network. Out of the total 52 million subscribers STC is still the largest telecom with a 44.4% (23.1 mln) market share followed by Mobily with a 38% market share and Zain KSA with with a 17.3% market share. The launch of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the Saudi telecoms market will certainly impact the market in the future.
New third-generation (3GP) services offered by STC include mobile TV, Internet access over mobile and video calls—services that probably would not have occurred without privatization competition. In April 2015, Brand Finance ranked STC number 29 in global telecommunication brands, and 240 out of the 500 most valuable brands in the world - the only company from Saudi Arabia on the list.
The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The current CEO is Dr. Khaled H. Biyari, Chairman of STC Advanced Solutions, Vice Chairman of STC VIVA Kuwait, Vice Chairman of OTL, and Board member of Türk Telekom and Avea. The Chairman of the Board is Dr. Abdullah bin Hasan Alabdulqader, head of Advisory Committee in the Capital Market Authority and a member of the Quality Assurance Committee in the Organization for Certified Public Accountants.