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Sun 20 Oct 2019 11:30 AM

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Ericsson: Leading the Middle East into the 5G era

Ericsson: the mobile industry is transforming countries and industries and with 5G becoming a reality, new business opportunities and innovations will emerge

Ericsson: Leading the Middle East into the 5G era

5G networks that offer consumers high speeds, low latency and massive connections can enable a true smart city transformation. 

In the Middle East and Africa, total mobile data traffic is expected to grow nine times by 2024 – representing the highest growth rate globally. In 2024, total monthly mobile data traffic is projected to reach 17EB in the region. At that time, it is expected that 25 percent of mobile data traffic worldwide will be carried by 5G networks. This is 1.3 times more than the total traffic today.

Initially, 5G will be a capacity enhancer in metropolitan areas. Over time, additional new and exciting innovations for 5G will come with IoT use cases. These will be enabled by the deployment of enhanced LTE networks and 5G NR technology. Both will complement each other for a long time, securing a step-wise evolution to full 5G deployment.

In order to address the increasing mobile data traffic, operators need to embrace 5G to ensure a better experience for smartphone users. Consumers will get a faster, more stable, more secure connection – along with new services and experiences.

With the need to evolve wireless connectivity for the fifth generation of mobile technology, Ericsson’s goal is to expand the broadband capability of mobile networks, and to provide specific capabilities for consumers and for various industries and society at large unleashing the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT).

5G networks that offer consumers high speeds, low latency and massive connections can enable a true smart city transformation. Thanks to 5G, every mobile user will experience high-quality broadband services in terms of both upload and download capabilities.

Sensors embedded in roads, railways, airfields and vehicles will communicate with each other through the 5G network. With 5G, the speed and reach of automation will increase rapidly – it will better enable home alarms and benefit self-driving cars too.

A long list of IoT devices are made more useful by 5G including electricity, gas and water metres, as well as refrigerators, stoves and washing machines. Smartphone users can also expect AR/VR applications to improve. From 5G standardisation to today’s commercialisation, Ericsson has been a key player in making 5G networks a commercial reality. It is first with commercial live networks in four continents and publicly announced commercial 5G deals with more than 20 named operators.

There is something unique about Ericsson’s culture, vision and planning that has enabled it to endure and remain an industry leader. Digital transformation, enabled by mobility, cloud and broadband, is taking place in almost every industry, disrupting and making us rethink our ways of working. Wireless connectivity is at the centre of this technological revolution.

Through a series of significant technology and interoperability achievements, Ericsson has opened 5G up for first movers – taking this technology out of the lab and into a commercial network environment.

With the first commercial launches underway, Ericsson is preparing and equipping service providers to go live. Key technologies to focus on will be the core network evolution and spectrum strategies – which allow partners to build for the future in today’s networks.

The real question is: How can 5G be rolled out in the fastest, smoothest, and most efficient possible way, while meeting the key objectives of successful coexistence with 4G and continuous growth?

In 2019, Ericsson started the commercial rollout of 5G with operators in advanced markets in the Gulf countries. It was selected by Batelco to commercially deploy 5G across Bahrain and announced 5G commercial launches with Etisalat, STC and Ooredoo. Each partnership is a significant milestone in Ericsson’s ongoing work to help service providers become more agile and successfully differentiate in a competitive market.

Ericsson offers its customers an expanded and adaptable 5G platform, making it easier for them to roll out 5G and speed up network coverage. In the MEA region, Ericsson already implemented an expanded platform to deliver more efficient network performance and improved network capabilities. This is enabling service providers to capture opportunities from digitisation of industries and from emerging use cases while addressing the explosive traffic growth expected in the 5G evolution.

The deployment of the Ericsson solutions provides operators’ live network with a 5G-ready core and help the network scale as IoT adoption increases – delivering the agility they need to meet changing consumer demands and maintain competitive edge.

Unprecedented ability and willingness to share information is leading to a greater degree of collaboration between people and all kinds of different industries. Solutions that involve many areas of expertise are being created, overturning traditional business models and redefining ecosystems in the process.

Exploration of the corresponding business cases – in sectors such as agriculture, automotive, construction, energy, finance, health, manufacturing, media, retail and transport – is therefore critical to ensure that 5G standards ultimately meet the needs of the targeted customer base.

In addition, digitalisation can create an infrastructure that can enhance financial and social inclusion, improve access to education and health, and that can aid humanitarian matters as poverty and hunger, refugees, peacebuilding and disaster response.

Hence, 5G has a significant impact on Ericsson’s Technology for Good pillar. By 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks (MBB). In the MEA region alone, 90 percent of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband and 5G is forecast to reach 30 million subscribers by 2024. This scale brings an unprecedented opportunity to address challenges of sustainable development.

Ericsson research shows that on average, a 10 percent increase in the mobile broadband (MBB) adoption ratio causes a 0.8 percent increase in GDP. This means that there is considerable potential for countries to leapfrog in their economic development by investing in MBB infrastructure.

The dawn of the 5G era brings consumers and enterprises together as they work on identifying processes and channels that will boost the efficiency of their lives and their business. Thus, it is imperative that current wireless technologies and telecom operators’ offerings – specifically mobile broadband plans – set out a vision that meets consumer expectations today.

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