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5G opens doors to these new opportunities by providing faster speeds and facilitating a wider world of cloud and data analytical services

When it comes to 5G adoption, the Middle East is outpacing established western markets which are slowed down due to needing to replace legacy infrastructure. A 2020 report by Ericsson Mobility predicted there would be 80 million subscribers to the 5G project in MENA by 2025. This massive adoption not only empowers businesses and other technological enhancements in the region, but it provides a healthy foundation for smart cities and global connectivity.

Here’s how 5G can create opportunities for the Middle East as well as fast-track digital transformation in the region.

Sparking domestic growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed emerging countries’ lacking digital systems. As a result, businesses scrambled to go digital and those who weren’t able to found it harder to remain competitive. So it’s no surprise that 77 percent of Middle Eastern companies are planning to invest a significant chunk of their budget in advanced networks that would benefit from 5G, as stated by Accenture’s 2021 research in collaboration with Microsoft on ‘Tech Leaders and the next growth chapter’.

The research from Accenture and Microsoft also indicates that the region is ripe for a digital transformation. The lack of a widely implemented modern digital system has actually become an advantage because instead of upgrading old networks, all that is needed is to install the new 5G network. This is expected to spark domestic growth and enable the region to build a future-proof system.

One sector that is projected to benefit in a big way is the oil and gas sector which needs to be transformed to meet the changing of the times. A single oil rig generates over 1TB of data per day, with only a fraction of it being used. Cutting-edge computing driven by 5G technology can allow oil producers to have more efficient operations and drive down costs. This can potentially result in an increase in the sector’s GDP contribution by 4.9 percent, as stated in the 2020 Edge computing report on ‘Why telcos should build an edge computing business for the oil and gas industry’.

Creating new opportunities in a stagnant market

Smartphone adoption has reached its plateau in the Middle East and with a 97 percent penetration rate, there’s little room for growth for smartphone makers, as stated in the 2019 GSMA Intelligence report on ‘The Mobile Economy Middle East & North Africa’. As telco companies are experiencing a decline in traditional revenue streams, growth opportunities must be found elsewhere.

5G opens doors to these new opportunities by providing faster speeds and facilitating a wider world of cloud and data analytical services. Not only does this provide a competitive advantage but it can create a more confident offering for media streaming services and other digital content in the MENA region.

Driving the use of AI, IoT, and other digital solutions

5G isn’t just to provide faster communication and mobile data services. It impacts other industries as well. There are big plans to develop the Middle East into a high-tech hub with 5G technology at its core.

Aside from the major cities, the following areas are being targeted to become smart cities in the near future:

  • Lusail, Qatar
  • Neom, KSA
  • Masdar, UAE
  • Duqm, Oman

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are essential in building smart cities. In Abu Dhabi, the smart city network monitors certain systems like streetlights, traffic lights, and public transportation, as stated by the official government portal for the UAE. With 5G’s reliable connectivity, real-time data is easily viewed and analysed which allows the city network to be more efficient and safer.

Once 5G spreads into the other cities, cutting-edge solutions and new opportunities will develop for businesses and the local communities.

5G will enable digital transformation

The future is in 5G. For some cities, especially KSA and UAE in the Middle East, the future has arrived. And the timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.

With the opportunity to advance into 5G, the region can experience a digital transformation that can rival developed western countries. AI, IoT, and faster connectivity are just a few things that businesses and industries can utilise in their transformation. And this will hopefully elevate the quality of life in the Middle East.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Ahmad Shakora

Quelle/Source: ITP.net, 03.06.2022

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