How to make 5G work for you

Wireless advances with 5G & security practices


How is 5G different

How is 5G different

5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by the end of 2024, representing 2% of total mobile subscriptions. In a growing economy, 5G is causing excitement as younger generation favour wireless devices, remote services and high speed connections.

Compared with its predecessor, 4G - 5G is leaps and bounds ahead. It’s between 10 and 20 times faster and changes between tasks with ease. With IoT (Internet of Things) having an increasing influence over our personal and professional connectivity, 5G promises to support the increasing demand for fast information and quick downloads.

In 2019, Ericsson will start the commercial roll out of 5G in the Middle East, starting with operators in advanced markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Arabian Business: How big will 5G be in the Middle East, 2019

WEF: 5G will drive industry 4.0 in the Middle East and Africa, 2019

How is 5G different

How will it impact the Middle East?

The advent of 5G is expected to contribute billions to economies around the region. Although a few markets in the Middle East have very high rates of fixed household broadband penetration, the rate for the Middle East as whole was 46.7% at end-2017, lower than in many other major world regions.

5G will massively impact speeds and connectivity across both the domestic and industrial markets - allowing businesses to be better connected than ever before.

Technologies that were previously struggling across the region, such as cloud-based software and IoT, will receive a new lease of life. There is also much excitement for the world of gaming, e-sport and data storage. Due its low cost, 5G could have a huge positive impact on start-up culture, as well as opening up the floor to more remote working.

Chief Technology Officer at telecoms giant, Etisalat described the introduction of hyper-connectivity as a powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). He also predicted that 5G will have a significant and profound change on individuals, industries, society and the economy, transforming how we live and work.

Ovum: 5G in the Middle East and Africa, 2018

Arabian Business:UAE’s Etisalat to invest $1bn in digital transformation, 2019

How will it impact the Middle East

Is it safe?

With 5G ready to take a foothold in areas such as e-health and electric cars, digital security is more paramount than ever. If businesses are to use 5G as a means to get faster access to their data, that data needs to be secured. In the US, concerns have already been raised and targeted by software giant, Cisco.

They recently reported that security threats are only going to accelerate as 5G networks become a reality. AT&T sees 11 billion incidents each day currently, but it predicts this will rise to five billion every 10 minutes in the future. As the MENA await the introduction of 5G, those security concerns need to be addressed too.

5G is more technologically secure than 4G - but there are still some worries. Firstly, the first generation of mobile connectivity was designed for M2M (machine to machine) communication, 5G-enabled devices will 'talk' to countless sensors that comprise the connected world.

Of course, with using 5G to power IoT, there is an increased chance of personal devices being compromised. Examples might be 5G powered cameras, security systems or intelligent speakers like Alexa and Google Home. 5G is more secure, but by default, the more devices that are connected to a network, the higher the likelihood of one being hacked.

As 5G is rolled out, providers and networks need to advise and focus on potential security loopholes - particularly around data. However, overall, the introduction of superfast wireless across the globe is incredibly exciting. For developing industries and regions across the MENA where connected Wi-Fi has been poor, 5G opens doors and welcomes a new flurry of business opportunity.

Cisco: 5 key requirements for a secure 5G network

Techradar: 5G security - does more data mean increased risk, 2019

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