Keynote: Commercialisation of 5G in MENA
Markets in MENA – particularly some of the GCC States – will be among the first countries globally to launch 5G networks, with commercial deployments planned in the UAE in 2019 and Qatar in 2020. In the early years following these launches, operators in 12 other countries across MENA are expected to deploy 5G services, covering around 30% of the region’s population by 2025. By this time, regional 5G connections (excluding IoT) are forecast to surpass 50 million. With high or rapidly growing levels of 4G adoption and data consumption, supportive governments and ambitious launch targets, operators in these countries are challenging global counterparts in leading 5G development. Rollout will likely be at a similar rate to the deployment of 4G, covering around 30% of the region’s population by 2025. Adoption will scale rapidly, as device vendors see the technology as a means to differentiate handsets, while declining average selling prices for smartphones means affordability will prove less of a barrier to ownership. This session will explore the progress that operators are making towards commercial launches of 5G in the MENA region, with a host of pioneering stakeholders offering a range of informed perspectives.