RIYADH: As many as 2.7 billion people are still not connected to the Internet despite the world seeing massive development in the areas of technology, said a top official of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, an industry body of telecom operators.
Speaking at the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh, Bocar Alpha, CEO and Board Member at SAMENA Telecommunications Council, said 46 percent of the world's population still needs an internet connection.
He added: “We have to bring the 2.7 billion people online by 2030. Tomorrow if we bring them online, we may have to bring 27 billion devices into the network. It costs money.”
Alpha stressed that the catalyst for the technology is to accelerate the implementation of the 5G network.
“We went from the telecom operator perspective into a massive deployment in all countries and 5G is a reality that has been deployed, and the objective is connecting everyone, everything and everywhere,” he said.
The CEO also pointed out that 5G technology was adopted and implemented by most Gulf countries a few years ago, adding that "the 5G is an environment that will enable any new technological development.”
“If 2G is a small fish, 3G is a much bigger fish, 4G is a shark and the 5G is the ocean. That’s the environment where we will be able to have 2, 3, 4G together and an enabler for all the digital technologies,” Alpha said.
The 5G also is an environment that will support the infrastructure development, he said.
“It’s meant primarily for airports, smart cities, welcoming the other industries and of course, if you want to move as a consumer from 4G to 5G, feel free you can do, you will have a better download speed,” the CEO said.
He also explained that the market is right now in the transition stage, from 5.5 to 6G, with other technological innovations that will be supported on the platform.
“Saudi Arabia has made a great step forward last year by bringing a revolution in our region, in terms of the spectrum auction process, I think we can congratulate them,” he said.
Alpha added: “In general we need to engage in a discussion with regulators with our government to ensure that there is no value creation destruction.”
He also stressed that there is a need to consider the sustainability of the investment.