Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: If there is one trend likely to dominate the upcoming Gitex Technology Week, it will be the ongoing development and roll-out of 5G, the next generation, high-speed telecommunications network.

Some of the biggest names in 5G, including Huawei, Ericsson, and Etisalat, attended a press conference on Sunday at the Dubai World Trade Centre to discuss their plans for the show.

“5G is the major focus this year with a showcase of digital transformation and innovation expected across industry verticals like transportation, retail, health care, manufacturing, aviation and oil and gas,” said Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice-President, Etisalat.

China’s telecommunication giant Huawei, a global leader in 5G equipment, will also be present at the show. The company has made headlines with its fight with the US government over security concerns related to its 5G equipment over the last year. It declined to say whether it would address concerns about security during Gitex Technology Week.

Huawei is also expected to showcase its Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, devices, and cloud technologies.

Munich-based Siemens is making its Gitex debut this year, with the company focusing on intelligent infrastructure.

Other technologies that will be showcased at Gitex Technology Week, which runs from October 6 to 10, will include AI, FinTech (financial technology), and the future of mobility, which will include autonomous vehicles.

Running concurrently with Gitex Technology Week will be Gitex Future Stars, a conference that focuses on start-ups. The two shows this years will offer a combined programme, featuring over 250 industry insiders and experts on stage to discuss major trends.

Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial centre located in the UAE capital, will be playing a major role as part of Gitex Future Stars. Martin Tideström said the centre will be focusing on multiple topics, such as funding for start-ups and FinTech. Along with ADGM, Hub71, a tech hub launched earlier this year in Abu Dhabi, will also be at the show.

Over 4,500 companies are expected to attend this year’s shows, with over 100,000 visitors from 140 countries.

Why is 5G important?

The fifth generation mobile telecommunication network (5G) will bring about a significant shift in how people use data, according to Wojciech Bajda, Vice President, Middle East and Africa, and Head of Gulf Council Countries, Ericsson.

“I think it’s going to be a massive transformation,” Bajda said. “It’s the speed, it’s the latency, it’s the reliability, it’s the coverage. From the consumer perspective, we’re going enjoy a much better video experience ... We expect that mobile data consumption will be around 15 gigabyte per month, per user. That’s a lot!”

According to data from Ericsson, there will be 30 million 5G mobile subscriptions in the region by 2024.

Ericsson has 24 contracts with 5G operators globally, including four in the Middle East.