Thursday 4 July 2024

Mobile Infrastructure from Hajj 2024 (1445 H)

Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca/Makkah in Saudi Arabia is a fantastic example of how to handle huge amounts of people and data. With over 1.8 million pilgrims this year, many of whom go to the holy mosque every day (generally more than once) during the Hajj days, providing reliable connectivity and reasonable data rates is a huge challenge. 

The press release post Hajj, provided some more details on the number of sites and data usage:

CST Governor stated that the unlimited support from the leadership resulted in the recording of exceptional network performance levels across more than (6200) telecom towers, with 5G towers surpassing 4,000 towers, reflecting an impressive 37% increase compared to 2023, while the Wi-Fi points exceeded 10500 points in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madina Al-Munawarah and the Holy Sites.

H.E. the Governor also added that the total data consumption reached 65.47 thousand TB, equivalent to watching 26.82millionhours of 1080p HD video clips, with internet download speeds exceeded 341.6 Mbit/s, while the voice calls total exceeded 337 million calls with a success increase of 99%, as a result of the developed network infrastructure and the availability of WiFi networks. 

Here are some high resolutions pictures that show how much infrastructure is needed. Most of these sites in the Haram provided coverage for something like 100 metres as there were other similar sites nearby, some shared for all operators while others were specific to one operator.

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