Initial 5G technology subscription in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) during the next five years( by 2024 )will reach 60 million users, which would be almost double compared with the LTE/4G technology take-up for a similar period, Ahmed Ijaz, Ericsson’s principal consultant in Middle East and Africa announced. The 60 million number would be primarily dominated by countries in the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, Ijaz added.
Saudi Arabia was the earliest to deploy 5G infrastructure across the Middle East. With 5G technology eventually going mainstream, industries such as oil and gas – such as the use of drones with high-resolution 5G cameras connected to them – could harmonize their operations towards efficiency, said Wojciech Bajda, the head of Ericsson GCC.
“In Saudi Arabia, we find that the value of 5G will come from a select set of industries and these include the oil and gas sector,” Ijaz said. The network will help the industry in terms of controlling the pipelines and making sure there is monitoring of remote areas, Bajda meanwhile said. Smart transportation, Ijaz added, is another sector in Saudi Arabia that will implement the 5G network to help make road infrastructure safer in the Kingdom. Smart traffic systems, for example – operating over a 5G network – could help ease the flow of traffic through monitored cameras and sensors.
On the consumer side, Bajda said that 5G technology for individuals is about experiencing better network speed. “Today, especially in the GCC, video consumption is huge; people have better phones and higher resolution screens that will help provide better quality of service,” he said.
Mathias Johansson, Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) head of customer for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, agreed, noting that one of the driving factors behind the large number of eventual 5G subscribers in the region would be the availability of 5G enabled smartphones. STC and Ericsson signed in February a deal to deploy 5G technology in Saudi Arabia during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
沙特电信公司(STC)的沙特和埃及客户主管Mathias Johansson对此表示赞同，他指出，该地区大量5G用户背后的驱动因素之一，将是可使用5G的智能手机。今年2月，在巴塞罗那举行的移动世界大会(Mobile World Congress)期间，沙特电信公司(STC)和爱立信签署了一项将在沙特阿拉伯部署5G技术的协议。
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