Challenging the Connectivity Paradigm: How 5G Will Unite Networks and the Smart City Agenda by Mohamad Dergham, Head of Global Customer Unit Ooredoo and Customer Unit North Middle East, Ericsson

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In a matter of decades, technology has progressed at an unprecedented pace; and in turn, it has catalyzed the progression of nearly every other area of our lives. Industry, medicine, infrastructure, transportation, and countless other aspects of modern life have been developing for centuries — but their distinctly steeper rate of change in recent years is undeniably linked to the technologies supporting them. And among the most influential technologies contributing to global advancement are telecommunications technologies.

Telecommunications enable us to connect and communicate more easily and comprehensively than ever before; and with the advent of 5G, we can do so not only with one another, but with computers, machines, infrastructure, and much more. 5G will open doors to the communicative technologies that are propelling the world forward towards monumental advancements like smart cities, autonomous vehicles, remote surgeries, and the like. Moreover, it will enable telecommunications companies to fulfill the ever-evolving mobile connectivity expectations of users everywhere.

However, a barrier exists between idealizing these possibilities and executing them. Widespread 5G technology is approaching at an ever-increasing pace; but understanding it on a realistic and applicable level is going to be the key to integrating it on a large-scale, accessible basis. In order to optimize the potential of 5G and achieve all that it is capable of, telecommunications companies must take a unique approach to challenging the connectivity paradigm in which revolutionary technologies are seen as abstract concepts rather than feasible realities.

Ericsson is striving to unite 5G networks with the smart city agenda by way of everyday use cases. Implementing 5G isn’t a difficult concept for operators to grasp; but for this concept to move beyond ideas and ultimately come to fruition, those who will actually use it in their daily lives must understand its potential. Contextualizing 5G is the first step to implementing it on a large scale — and that’s exactly why Ericsson is working to help both industrial and individual users.

In industrial terms, Ericsson continues to develop 5G use cases designed to advance the smart city agenda that governments across the region and around the world are taking on. As emerging applications like smart infrastructure, self-driving vehicles, and remotely operated machinery evolve, the vision for smart cities moves increasingly closer to reality. With half of the world’s population currently living in cities — a figure expected to reach about 70 percent by 2050[1] — the time to execute urban connectivity has already arrived.

On an individual scale, Ericsson aims to contextualize 5G in everyday life for users across the region. With the expectation that by 2022, mobile subscription to double thanks to connected devices in use around the world, it will be imperative for users to understand the volume and extent of 5G applications in their daily lives. Ever-present broadband access will enable ultra-high speed connectivity even in remote or crowded areas, in turn allowing the Internet of Things to make almost all of the machines, tools, and infrastructure we interact with intelligent. So for users to take full advantage of 5G potential, they will need to understand all that it is capable of.

5G is the next big step when it comes to mobile communication technologies. Once introduced in Lebanon, people will realize the vision of essentially unlimited access to information and sharing of data anywhere and at any time for anyone and anything.

The process of transforming technology by way of 5G is already well underway. But a shift in the connectivity paradigm, which limits widespread understanding and implementation of next-generation technologies, will be essential in optimizing 5G in cities around the world. With this in mind, Ericsson is dedicating the necessary resources to helping governments, industries, companies, and individuals understand all that 5G has to offer – and ultimately, delivering an unlimited world of possibilities

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