Following its successful completion of the 1st 5G trial in Lebanon, Alfa, managed by Orascom TMT, in cooperation with Ericsson, held the first integrated 5G live experience in Lebanon under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Minister of Telecommunications Jamal Jarrah.
After the first demonstration undertaken by the Lebanese operator and Swedish vendor at the 10th edition of Telecom Review Summit held in Lebanon on April 13th, a two-day event introduced the public and university students at Alfa headquarters to never-before-seen techniques in Lebanon, demonstrating the 5G network potential and wide range as well as huge speeds that exceed current speeds by 100 times to reach 25 gigabits per second (Gbps).
Brought in from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, demos included examples of virtual reality applications, simulation of remote control and management capabilities over 5G networks and robotics, and a detailed explanation of the 5G capabilities and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Alfa CEO and Chairman Marwan Hayek, said, "This event in which we witness for the first time in Lebanon the 5G capabilities, confirms Alfa's readiness to introduce the 5G technology."
"It is a crucial and a turning point for the telecommunications sector in Lebanon, and is historically similar in importance and impact to similar milestones, such as the invention of the printing press, which changed the concept of printing and copying books, leading to the intellectual revolution and the Renaissance in Europe", he added. "What comes after 5G is very different from what preceded it".
Hayek confirmed, "When commercially available, this revolutionary technology will allow us to reach huge speeds up to 25 Gbps and will provide a latency of no more than 4 milliseconds and up to 1 millisecond in some applications that require high accuracy. This rate is similar to the rapid response of the human brain".
"This means that as we enter the new digital revolution, where 5G is an essential element, we will be able to develop virtual intelligence, M2M and the Internet of things applications", he explained. "We have accompanied this new revolution from its beginning, and it represents the continuity of our journey, from the pioneer launch of GSM to 5G. We were also the first to launch 3G, 4G, and 4G+ technologies, making us a "happiness provider" to the Lebanese through the quality of service and Internet speeds that are reflected on their lives and their work".
Hayek also said, "5G will have a huge impact on the economy for the next 15 years, with global GDP expected to grow by 2.9 percent, and 5G contributing to 0.2 percent of this GDP. It will also create 22 million new jobs globally, most of which are new jobs, hence the primary role of the educational sector and educational institutions is to educate the young generation on the specialties in demand".
He stressed that Alfa does not neglect the human and social factor in its mission, and in parallel with all this technological progress, it will double its humanitarian efforts, especially as it is one of the first companies committed to the United Nations Plan for Sustainable Development 2030. "We look forward to 6G" he concluded.
In the same context, H.E. Jamal Jarrah said, "There is a real desire and will to develop the telecommunications sector rapidly to keep abreast of the latest technology, which is very fundamental to the development of our economy and our society".
"Alfa always plays a very positive role and is a pioneer in embracing the latest technologies for the development and advancement of the sector. This is not an option for us, it is necessary to bring Lebanon back to the advanced position it had with the beginnings of GSM cellular networks in the region", he added. "With Alfa, we will restore this leading role regionally by providing the necessary services to the Lebanese and keeping pace with the latest global technologies".
Jarrah concluded, "I thank Marwan Hayek, who, despite all his preoccupations in the development of Alfa technically, administratively and financially, gives extra focus to the social responsibility aspect. He is a pioneer at this level, and we are his supporters in this process".
Rafiah Ibrahim, Head Middle East and Africa at Ericsson, Alfa's partner in the operator's path towards 5G, said, "We have been focusing on developing 5G ecosystem and use cases and today's successful event with Alfa demonstrates the performance capability of 5G achieving 25Gb per second".
"5G will be a game changer that will transform the way we live, work and engage and today marks the first step for Lebanon's journey towards 5G", she added.
Mohamad Dergham, Head of Ericsson Levant countries said on this occasion: "This successful 5G trial prepares Alfa's network for a 5G future. It is another demonstration of our long standing partnership marked with significant milestones to date. I am confident that we will continue to collaborate with our valued partnership to deliver high quality end-to-end network performance in Lebanon."