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Building on its theme “Experience 5G”, Ericsson’s visitors at GITEX this year will get to experience how 5G technology will become a platform for innovation for both operators and consumers.  Visitors will learn more about how 5G offers up to 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G networks and gain insights on untapped emerging revenue streams from the digitalization of industries. In addition, attendees will be able to enjoy a futuristic technology vision by experiencing 5G through interactive immersive experiences using high-quality in-car video, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

More than 20 demonstrations Ericsson will be showcasing within its booth and people will have the chance to experience new and emerging technologies over the latest 5G-enabled networks and platforms. Examples of smart cities, smart vehicles, more efficient and automated manufacturing, immersive sports and connected healthcare as well as transformational TV and gaming experiences will also be at hand.

And to delve deeper into industry verticals that are prominent in the region and offer clear opportunities for 5G use cases, Ericsson will be releasing the newest version of its annual report, ‘The guide to capturing the 5G industry digitalization business potential’.

Adding to this, Ericsson’s global and regional leaders will be there to provide actionable insights on prominent topics including driving 5G innovation, unlocking 5G business potential, building tomorrow's cities, future mobility and many more.

Ericsson’s participation at GITEX 2019, is a testament to a long, continuous 5G innovation journey. As today’s networks implement a technology shift and embrace 5G, Ericsson’s hardware and software continue to address the flexibility needed for the next-generation networks.

In 2019, Ericsson started the commercial roll out of 5G with operators in advanced markets in GCC countries with significant traffic volumes anticipated in 2021. It was selected by Batelco to commercially deploy 5G across Bahrain and announced 5G commercial launches with Etisalat, STC and Ooredoo.

In fact, all major service providers in the region are moving aggressively to launch 5G commercially, according to Ericsson Mobility Report MEA. We are working with partners in a multitude of industries, as well as academia partners within research and development projects.

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson in Middle East and Africa, says: “The mobile industry is transforming countries and industries and with 5G becoming a reality, we will see new business opportunities and innovations across our markets.”

Bearing in mind the plans of MENA operators to roll out 5G and speed up network coverage, Ericsson is offering an expanded and adaptable 5G platform, with Radio Access Network (RAN) Compute that enhances network flexibility for new 5G use cases, lower latency, and lower total cost of ownership.

Heralding a new era in technology, 5G will introduce new capabilities that will allow operators to develop new use cases, applications, services and revenue streams, towards consumer, enterprise and different industries and markets.

Pharaon elaborates: “Our abilities to work closely with our customers in our market areas are key to leveraging our technology leadership in 5G”.

Thanks to 5G, we will live a revolution in five key industries including TV and media, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation and infrastructure. Every mobile user will experience high-quality broadband services in terms of both upload and download capabilities. Sensors embedded in roads, railways, airfields and vehicles will communicate with each others through the 5G network. We are talking about infinite abilities and opportunities.

Overall, 5G technology will expand business opportunities through monitoring, tracking and automation capabilities on a large scale - from connected farms and agriculture to smart cities and buildings. 5G networks can enable a true smart city and agriculture transformation in many countries in the Middle East and Africa. Agriculture 4.0 will particularly transform both the demand side and the value chain/supply side of the food-scarcity equation, using technology to address the real needs of consumers.

Zooming in on the Middle East and Africa region, it is also the world's largest center for mineral mining and oil and gas operations. The domain choice of IoT connectivity for these industries will naturally be 5G.

Now if we talk about the next steps, and how service providers should take a smooth digital transformation, it is essential that on a telco level, service providers invest in networks that provide the best service quality to users across the entire radio spectrum. Also, essential is to develop a smart grid which will facilitate a more connected society once 5G is launched. Telcos need to significantly increase investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across nationwide networks to launch 5G mobile networks.

It is equally important for service providers to keep up with the high expectations of early adopters. When service providers deploy 5G, consumer satisfaction will depend on consistent and effective network evolution. A shift towards service-based pricing or perhaps creating a sense of the unlimited, could be a savvy move by carriers, as the transition to 5G ultimately will not involve consumers paying per gigabyte but rather an unlimited future.

We cannot talk about future and 5G without addressing network automation which is critical for the increasing number of services and use cases that anticipated with 5G.

The total mobile traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five over the next six years, set to reach 136EB/month by the end of 2024, and the number of cellular IoT connections is set to reach 4.1 billion, increasing with an annual growth rate of 27%. Humans, unaided, cannot manage the scale and complexity of that much data and that many devices as well as the number of new use cases enabled by 5G and IoT that will require networks to transform – continuously learning, becoming more dynamic and able to react in real-time.

The value of AI and automation becomes more and more apparent as more service providers complete their transformations. That is when AI-enhanced automation becomes a necessity to keep their entire digital business operating reliably.

Ericsson has spent over a decade innovating and deploying AI and automation solutions across our products and services, to boost network performance, improve the end-user experience, enhance operational efficiency, and enable new revenues for our customers.

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