5G uptake ramping up faster than expected by Mohamad Dergham, Head of Ericsson Levant Countries

As markets are switching on 5G successively, rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G has led Ericsson to forecast an extra 400 million enhanced mobile broadband subscriptions globally by the end of 2024. The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27 percent. No previous generation of mobile technology has had the potential to drive economic growth to the extent that 5G promises.

We are now starting to see commercial 5G networks going live around the globe. Combining improved capacity with increased cost-efficiency, 5G represents an opportunity for telecom operators to improve their consumer business. While previous technology generations were focused on consumer and personal communications, the 5th technology generation now allows operators to explore new use cases and business models thus taking the internet of things to a whole new level allowing not only consumer communications but also enterprises, societies… to name but a few.

In Middle East and Africa, operators in the advanced markets of the Gulf are among the first in the world to launch 5G, with commercial 5G services expected to be live in five Gulf countries by the end of 2019. There will be 60 million mobile 5G subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2024 according to Ericsson latest mobility report forecasts, though that will represent just 3% of all mobile subscriptions in the region.

The Middle East and Africa region is expected to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period, growing total mobile data traffic by eight times between 2018 and 2024. Smartphone subscriptions are projected to almost double, increasing penetration from 46 to 63 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

With connectivity at the heart of industries’ digital transformation, cellular technologies have a significant role to play – not just in the evolution of communication but in the transformation of businesses and societies.

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