The fifth generation of cellular technology (5G) is use-case driven and is not similar to 4G and 3G networks where it gets consumed when rolled out, Ericsson told TechRadar Middle East.
“The intake of 5G is in our hands as technology vendors and service providers to create a small ecosystem, work together and develop new use cases,” Wojciech Bajda, Vice-President for Middle East and Africa, and Head of Gulf Cooperation Council countries at Ericsson, said.
However, he said that the main monetisation or new revenue stream is in industrial applications.
He said that service providers in the Middle East and Africa can benefit from an addressable potential of up to $15-$46b by 2030 and this growth will offer service providers a revenue opportunity of an additional 35% in addition to the telecom service revenues forecast.
Moreover, he said that transportation (sea ports), mining and oil and gas have no idea what kind of value 5G can bring to them.
“So, it is our job to go and make sure that they understand the technology and the potential applications in case of their business. First kind of prototypes and trials are happening now in this region with certain verticals such as mining, oil and gas, and sea ports mainly while Oman is also looking at agriculture,” he said.
He said that Ericsson has been working across different industries and doing the same here in this region.
“We are proposing ideas to different sectors and work with telecom providers and make a prototype on a very small scale, test it and then how to scale it up in a bid to monetise it,” he said.
Video traffic to surge
Bajda said that the intake of 5G has been slow so far but will see a major breakthrough next year when a new 5G chipset is released and more smartphones will be available at an affordable price point.
He said that mobile data traffic is predicted to reach 131EB per month by the end of 2024 globally, at which time 35% is projected to be over 5G networks and of that, 74% will be video compared to 28EB in 2018 and 60% of the traffic was video.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, close to 20% of mobile subscriptions were for LTE in the Middle East and North Africa in 2018 but it is projected that by 2024, 90% of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband.
“The major new revenue stream for telecom operators will come from industrial digitalisation with consumer mobile data being complemented,” Bajda said.