Across the Middle East, plans to deploy 5G are being accelerated and, according to the latest GSMA Report, 45 million 5G connections are expected to be activated by 2025 across MENA, accounting for 6% of total mobile connections in the region.
Promising much faster speeds, far more connected devices, and significantly lower latency that will result in much higher data volumes than 4G mobile networks, 5G will add a new layer of capabilities for both consumers and businesses. 5G is expected to enable innovations across several sectors, including gaming, education, transport, smart city management, and healthcare just to list a few.
It is forecasted that two-thirds of the 3.6 billion IoT connections in 2025 will be used by smart industry and automotive verticals. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are currently at the forefront of the smart city technology adoption. Cities in the GCC are on their way to becoming “smarter” and 5G will facilitate data collection on traffic, weather, energy and water usage to make them more sustainable and efficient. Smart cities will function on uninterrupted and reliable flow of data from interconnected wired and wireless networks. Ultimately, a smart city is made possible by its network. 5G enables these adaptable networks to enable dynamic, real-time innovations that can improve citizens’ lives.
Furthermore, with up to 79% of UAE adults predicted to work remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 5G facilitates flexible working, with lag-free connections for video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Webex. Leveraging the flexibility and superfast connectivity offered by 5G, people can be productive virtually anywhere without being challenged by connectivity issues. Collaborating and creating is easier too: large files can be shared on the go, such as videos and images.
As esports continue to grow in popularity in the GCC, 5G will usher in a new era in gaming – for both serious competitors and casual gamers. Blazing speeds of connectivity eliminate lag and allow for a much larger number of users. Gamers can even stream their games in real time, garnering bigger audiences and new revenue streams.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also catalysed the growth in telemedicine and 5G promises to bring increased speed, efficiency and enhanced connectivity which will support new advancements in remote healthcare services and medical wearables in the future.
The race to gain new 5G customers is underway not just in the Middle East but across the globe. And, in the coming year we will see operators take steps to push the boundaries of their networks ensuring that users aren’t left disappointed.