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Ericsson drives 5G to 2020 take-off

Ericsson has struck commercial 5G agreements with seven mobile operators in the Middle East and Africa. The company’s head of networks for MEA, CHAFIC TRABOULSI, looks at the significance of the milestone



As the Middle East and Africa region races towards commercial 5G services, Ericsson has achieved significant milestones with leading service providers.

During 2019, Ericsson Middle East and Africa announced seven commercial 5G agreements with operators in different countries: Etisalat UAE, Ooredoo Qatar, STC Saudi Arabia, Zain Bahrain, Batelco Bahrain, MTN South Africa and Mobily.

On a global level, Ericsson has signed 78 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with separate operators, of which 24 are live networks. The Middle East and Africa region contribute around 29%.

The benefits of 5G’s high speeds, low latency, and superior reliability will make a real difference. Preparing for these 5G opportunities is a must for service providers. In fact, service providers in the MENA region can target a potential revenue opportunity from $15.18-billion to $45.91-billion by 2030, provided they adapt their business model to become service enablers and creators.

With consumer and personal communication-centric commercial 5G networks already live, the next wave of 5G expansion will allow businesses to digitalise with more mobility, flexibility, reliability, and security – taking IoT and industrial applications to never-before-seen levels.

Industry digitalisation opens new opportunities for service providers to build and extend their businesses beyond connectivity. The 5G-IoT landscape offers enormous potential but is complex to navigate and demands a comprehensive understanding of the different driving forces and barriers for different industries in focus. The probability to be successful in capturing parts of this potential is higher in the next 5-7 years, when roles and market shares are established rather, than later. First mover advantage is clear. Addressing these opportunities could enable service providers to unlock additional revenue streams of up to 35 percent, on top of the current scope of business by 2030.

Ericsson’s standalone 5G solutions ensures super-fast 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 capability, enabling smooth network evolution, and facilitating new consumer and industry use cases.

In addition, existing Ericsson Radio System portfolio is ready to enable 5G New Radio capability through remote software installation. This applies to more than 150 different radio variants in more than 190 networks around the world.

Ericsson is also 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.

As we turn towards 2020, we can say for certain that 5G will take off.