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The Rise Of 5G: Leading The UAE's ICT Transformation Mobile communications and the introduction of 5G would transform the ICT sector with connectivity on an unprecedented scale.

By Hany Aly Edited by Tamara Pupic

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The UAE's digital infrastructure will drive its future prosperity. We need powerful robust and secure networks that enable pervasive and data-intensive communications between everyone and everything. Mobile communications and the introduction of 5G would not only become significant enablers for the UAE's digitalization vision, but would also transform the ICT sector with connectivity on an unprecedented scale. 5G will bring a new level of performance and new characteristics to the telecom networks, in order to facilitate new services, ecosystems, and revenue streams.

By developing a smart infrastructure fully prepared to run 5G and allow all customers –individuals and business– to reap its benefits while pushing the digital agenda forward, we could be a step closer to empowering digital transformation that will benefit the various economic and social sectors within the UAE.

Frontrunners grow faster
With the future of 5G coming closer to reality than ever before, the people of the UAE, businesses, and government entities must be ready to harness the endless benefits and advantages provided by this technology.

The market potential of 5G can be estimated by looking at the impact of 4G, when it was introduced in 2011 to 2012. One thing we learned from the introduction of 4G is that first movers grow faster. Operators who rolled out 4G ahead of competitors enjoyed increased revenue and market share. To take advantage of this window of opportunity, operators need to set their 5G deployment strategies as the commercial roll-out of 5G is approaching.

In fact, enhanced mobile broadband will be the first large-scale global use case for 5G, which is a key factor to remember as it drives the next wave of productivity within the ICT sector. In the near future, 5G can help telecom operators efficiently improve their business by providing capacity to handle growing data traffic, as well as present opportunities for operators to grow top-line and improve their consumer business.

While the 5G ecosystem will be expanded year on year, mobile networks will no longer be limited to the connectivity layer. Instead, they will empower the enterprise sector with an end-to-end service layer based on network slicing, mobile edge computing, and the open API interface from the 5G network. This will enable a wide range of enterprise use cases in the near future such as collaborated robots, critical IoT, and virtualized networks as a service. Moreover, this will help the enterprise sector reduce operational costs and improve overall efficiency by relying on the operator network and the related offered service level agreements for each service.

Related: Driving Innovation And Growth Starts With A Powerful Culture Of Equality

Devices for optimal performance
There's no doubt the mobile device is becoming the hub in a growing ecosystem of services, including digital voice assistants, mixed reality solutions with live feeds. But it's not all about what's new. Consumers primarily associate 5G with benefiting from already familiar services, including social and communication apps, home security, and online shopping experiences. However, 5G must show significant improvements in service quality to avoid disappointed customers.

To fully benefit from 5G network capabilities, a high penetration of 5G-enabled devices is essential. Through proactive device strategies, operators could achieve an even faster uptake of 5G devices, and further benefit from 5G capabilities. This will require targeted marketing efforts to promote a shift to new type of 5G devices, as well as potential partnerships with device manufacturers and content creators.

This strategic plan will position operators to lead the 5G market and provide customers with cutting-edge technologies like hologram calls, connected vehicles, virtual tactile shopping, and lifesaving applications that will have a major impact on consumers' lifestyles and day-to-day activities.

Towards a more connected world
In the UAE today, a number of companies and cities are deploying existing technology solutions that are paving the way for digitalization. In the future, digitalization will take a step further in intelligent devices including sensors and other connected devices coupled with flexible network capabilities. This will enable never before seen data analytics that will result in social and economic benefits including things like traffic alleviation, smart building design and energy management- all informed using advanced intelligent networking capability.

As a pragmatic enabler of world-class technology that empowers consumers, businesses, and government entities all over the UAE, du is proud to be revealing 5G innovations that will shape the connected future of tomorrow and provide an advanced platform for the 5G ecosystem and its related developments.

Clearly, 5G is at the front of everyone's mind– but it should also be remembered that this is just the beginning of a major technology shift, with many challenges ahead.

Related: In The World Of Technology, You Are Only As Good As Your Next Innovation

Hany Aly

Executive and investor focused on the Middle East startup ecosystem

Hany Aly is an executive and investor focused on the startup ecosystem in the Middle East. For more than 20 years, he has created and executed strategies to support innovation, digital transformation, and the growth of telecoms and information communication technology (ICT) organizations across the region.


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