Up to 60 million 5G subscriptions in MEA by 2024

5G, or fifth generation technology, is a beefed-up version of the LTE/4G in terms of speed, capacity and responsiveness of wireless networks. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Up to 60 million 5G subscriptions in MEA by 2024

  • The 5G subscription in MEA will reach 60 million users from 2019 to 2024
  • 5G will help the oil and gas industry in terms of controlling the pipelines and making sure there is monitoring of remote areas

DUBAI: Initial 5G technology subscription in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) during the next five years – or by 2024 – would be almost double compared with the LTE/4G technology take-up for a similar period, Ahmed Ijaz, Ericsson’s principal consultant in Middle East and Africa, told Arab News.

The 5G subscription in MEA will reach 60 million users from 2019 to 2024, while 4G subscriptions topped 35 million users from 2011 to 2015 when the region saw initial LTE/4G deployments.

The 60 million number would be primarily dominated by countries in the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Ijaz added.

5G, or fifth generation technology, is a beefed-up version of the LTE/4G in terms of speed, capacity and responsiveness of wireless networks. Saudi Arabia was the earliest to deploy 5G infrastructure across the Middle East.

With 5G technology eventually going mainstream, industries such as oil and gas – such as the use of drones with high-resolution 5G cameras connected to them – could harmonize their operations towards efficiency, Wojciech Bajda, the head of Ericsson GCC, told Arab News.

“In Saudi Arabia, we find that the value of 5G will come from a select set of industries and these include the oil and gas sector,” Ijaz said.

The network will help the industry in terms of controlling the pipelines and making sure there is monitoring of remote areas, Bajda meanwhile said.

Smart transportation, Ijaz added, is another sector in Saudi Arabia that will implement the 5G network to help make road infrastructure safer in the Kingdom. 

Smart traffic systems, for example – operating over a 5G network – could help ease the flow of traffic through monitored cameras and sensors.

On the consumer side, Bajda said that 5G technology for individuals is about experiencing better network speed.

“Today, especially in the GCC, video consumption is huge; people have better phones and higher resolution screens that will help provide better quality of service,” he said.

Mathias Johansson, head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt, agreed, noting that one of the driving factors behind the large number of eventual 5G subscribers in the region would be the availability of 5G enabled smartphones.

STC and Ericsson signed in February a deal to deploy 5G technology in Saudi Arabia during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

 

  


Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

Updated 28 min 33 sec ago

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: Crowds gathered at different locations in the UAE on Sunday night to mark its one-year countdown to Expo 2020 in October next year, with host emirates Dubai staging a spectacular concert, topped by a light projection on the iconic Burj Khalifa.

American superstar Mariah Carey was the star of the night, which also saw performances from regional artists including Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain. The audience also grooved to a few Arabic tunes from Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.

A make-shift stage was set up at the Burj Park in Dubai’s downtown area to host the performances, while people also enjoyed a good view of the tallest building in the world. The countdown was facilitated by Emirati social media sensation Khalid Al-Ameri and Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor. 

A 3-minute firework display lit up the skies of Dubai as the crowd eagerly waited for Carey to appear on stage.

The 49-year-old singer sang her all-time favorite songs, including “Emotion,” “We Belong Together,” and a revival of the Motown classic “I’ll Be There,” to an enthusiastic audience who didn’t mind the heat and humidity at the outdoor venue.

The other six emirates also marked the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi featured YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists were celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum hosted Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.

The 6-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimate of 25 million visitors.