5G technology will provide an innovation platform enabling emergent technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to become integral parts of our economy and lifestyle Image Credit: Supplied

For more than a century, Ericsson technologies have transformed every sector of society, helping create positive change. Building on our founder’s core belief of making communication available for all, we have been the driving force behind some of the most powerful technologies known to mankind. Hence, Ericsson holds more than 49,000 patented innovations that have transformed lives, industries and societies.

Innovation is in the DNA of the digitally advanced regions such as the Gulf, with some GCC countries reaching 100 per cent mobile broadband subscription penetration. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that 90 percent of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband by 2024. Driving factors behind this shift include a young and growing population with increasing digital skills, as well as more affordable smartphones.

This anticipated mobile traffic growth can only be addressed through technological evolutions such as 5G. This technology will provide an innovation platform enabling emergent technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to become integral parts of our economy and lifestyle.

5G technology promises to connect people, places and billions of things with fast speed and ultra-reliable, low-latency wireless service. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), operators in the advanced markets of the Gulf are among the first in the world to launch 5G, with commercial 5G services already live in five Gulf countries by the end of Q2 2019. There will be 60 million mobile 5G subscriptions in the MEA by the end of 2024, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report forecasts.

Anticipating this, Ericsson Radio System portfolio is ready to enable 5G New Radio capability through remote software installation. Ericsson’s 5G portfolio allows service providers to offer enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access — among the first 5G use cases — and will provide subscribers with higher throughput and better experiences. For example, new immersive experiences using Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) applications, such as watching a 360° immersive 4K video on VR goggles.

Ericsson’s standalone 5G solutions ensure superfast response times as well as the future-readiness of the network architecture, opening up new service-creation opportunities. The new solutions extend network capacity and coverage, enabling smooth network evolution and facilitating new consumer and industry use cases.

Industry 4.0 merges operational information and communication technologies with cyber-physical systems, enabled by advanced wireless communication and Industrial IoT services. This digital and wireless transformation will be powered by 5G networks, which have the potential to drive economic growth like no previous generation of mobile technology.

With data rates up to 100 times faster, network latency lowered by a factor of five, mobile data volumes 1,000 times greater than today’s, and battery life of remote cellular devices stretched to 10 years or more, 5G will enable new capabilities across many industries. These capabilities will help industries create new products and services to grow their markets, increase productivity and efficiency to reduce costs, or increase safety and security to reduce risk.

For example, the security, high speeds, low latency and massive number of connections in 5G networks will support industries and agricultural transformation in many countries in the Middle East and Africa. This will enable new revenue streams from IoT and industrial applications – and accelerate digitalisation.

In the 5G Business Potential beyond Mobile Broadband report, Ericsson identifies four key industry verticals that are prominent in the region and offer clear opportunities for 5G use cases. These include Oil & Gas (Mining), Transport and Automotive, Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure and Manufacturing. Overall, 5G technology will expand business opportunities through monitoring, tracking and automation capabilities on a large scale —from connected farms and agriculture to smart cities and buildings.

As breakthrough technologies get ready to enable new levels of innovation and progress including cloud robotics, telemedicine, connected cars and drones, augmented and virtual reality and more — Ericsson’s solutions are empowering service providers across the region to address Industry 4.0 digitalisation opportunities by exploring automation, AI and machine learning services for industries, based on 5G capabilities.

In addition, Ericsson is evolving its cloud solution with an offering optimised for edge computing to meet user demand. This will enable service providers to offer new consumer and enterprise 5G services such as augmented reality and content distribution at low cost, low latency and high accuracy.

To capture new market opportunities, operators must be highly competitive within industry digitalisation, where the shift from connectivity provider to service enabler and now service creator is a stark one. By 2030, the estimated additional potential revenue increase is up to $45.91 billion for operators across the MEA, provided they adapt their business model to become service enablers and creators