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MWC: 5G will be the fastest – and fastest-growing – cell technology

Ericsson’s Mobility Report reveals 5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions in MEA by 2024.

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5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by the end of 2024, representing 2% of total mobile subscriptions. This will make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale, according to the new MEA edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, released during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements. The majority of the 5G subscriptions in the MEA are expected to come from advanced ICT markets like the GCC countries Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar while in Africa, considerable momentum is building up in South Africa.

From a mobile data traffic point of view, the region is globally the highest with nine times growth forecast (1.8 to 15.4 EB/month from 2018 to 2024) and mobile broadband subscriptions to double (860 to 1,630 million from 2018 to 2024).

The MEA region’s telecom market is characterized by increasing uptake of LTE and there is a high usage of apps. Therefore, significant growth is expected in data consumption together with large mobile broadband subscription addition.

Economic recovery to drive investment in ICT

Economies in the Middle East and North Africa have shown signs of recovery in 2018 and are expected to grow by 3.9% in 2019 as oil exporters benefit from the improved outlook for oil prices.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to show a similar upward trend, supported by rising commodity prices and improvement of the investment environment in large economies such as Nigeria and South Africa.

Continued economic growth in the region, coupled with a young population, favorable policies and lower cost devices will drive investment in the telecoms sector, increasing uptake of ICT services.

Demand for high-speed networks

LTE subscriptions will have the highest growth at 23% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2022, driven by increased mobile communications service provider investment in 4G networks as well as rising usage of data-intensive mobile services in the region.

The combination of increasing usage of mobile video applications on higher resolution screens and better network throughputs will lead to a rise in the data traffic per active smartphone from 2.9GB per month in 2018 to 15GB per month in 2024, a CAGR of around 30%.

5G business Opportunity:

5G promises numerous opportunities besides enhanced mobile broadband, such as:

  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)
  • VR, AR and advanced media services
  • Safety and security
  • Industrial automation

The first wave of 5G introduction in the Middle East and Africa targets the FWA segment where operators utilize it as an alternative to fiber, with quick time to market, as well as being an additional revenue stream. However, for the full 5G potential, large-scale rollout and to achieve long-term success, two main areas need to be addressed, namely spectrum availability and use case development.

Mobile service providers need considerable support from regulators to carve out enough spectrum in existing mid and low bands. On the other hand, high band and mmWave spectrum is needed for addressing ultra-low latency cases like automation, AR and remote monitoring.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “With connectivity at the heart of industry transformation, cellular technologies have a significant role to play – not just in the evolution of communication but in the transformation of businesses and societies. As 5G now hits the market, its coverage build-out and uptake in subscriptions is expected to be faster than for previous generations. At the same time, cellular IoT continues to grow strongly. As networks mature and ecosystems evolve, service providers need to become increasingly agile to achieve the goal of profitable growth.”

The Mobility report also features articles on migration to new technology, cellular IoT connectivity, the road to 5G and challenges ahead.

Read the full Ericsson Mobility Report

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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