5G subscribers in the Middle East and African region will reach 60 million in the next five years, according to Ahmed Ijaz, Ericsson’s principal consultant in the Middle East and Africa. Subscribers in these regions will almost double by 2024 when compared to 4G subscribers.
A majority of these subscribers are expected to be from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report MEA, almost 90 percent of the 60 million 5G subscriptions in the Middle East and African region are expected to be for mobile broadband.
While Saudi Arabia was the first country in the Middle East to develop 5G infrastructure, many countries in the region and also in Africa are developing infrastructure in their country to deploy 5G technology.
Wojciech Bajda, the head of Ericsson GCC believes 5G will prove to be revolutionary for sectors such as oil and gas. According to him, 5G technology will help oil and gas companies to control their pipeline network more efficiently and provide security in remote areas with the help of drones.
Ericsson Middle East and Africa President, Fadi Pharaon told the media that, “The deployment of 5G networks will allow operators to develop new use cases, applications, services and revenue streams from IoT and industrial applications, sparking an unprecedented wave of innovation.”
He added, “We offer our customers an expanded and adaptable 5G platform, making it easier for them to rollout 5G and speed up network coverage. Our end to end Radio and Core 5G platform enhance network flexibility for enabling new 5G use cases, lowering latency, and lowering total cost of ownership.”
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Zain Group deployed Middle East’s largest 5G network with 2,000 towers across 20 cities. The telecom company will gradually expand to 2,600 towers across 26 Saudi cities by the end of 2019.