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The 12th edition of  5G MENA event started off with the 'Chair’s opening remarks and ‘2022 trends to watch in Middle East & Africa' by Matthew Reed, Chief Analyst, Service Provider Markets, Omdia. Key topics of planning for 5G monetization alongside service delivery, building use cases for demonstrating return on investment in 5G and future technologies and utilising fixed 5G to drive incremental revenues were discussed.

Some key findings by Omida were that 5G will account for 26% of MENA’s mobile subscriptions by 2026, and global 5G subscription will cross 1 billion mark in 2022. Operators will monetize 5G with larger data allowance, OTT content and 5G-rich apps and global 5G FWA subscription forecast is set to rise from 41 million in 2021 to 89 million in 2026.

In the panel discussion ‘The enterprise perspective – expectations and reality from 5G services’, key topics such as does supply and demand match? What do end-users expect from 5G?, evaluating opportunities 5G presents for enterprises and key considerations for service providers pursuing enterprise 5G were discussed.

Naser Refaat, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and VP Of Engineering, Rotana Media Group said that 5G has pushed the boundaries of media delivery. He said that net 6.0 will add value to content creators and content management 2.0 is interactive, and in command of content value. “5G enables faster, better data gathering for the audience,” he added.

Saud Alsheraihi, Products and Solutions VP, stc said that stc has taken many steps to understand the customers’ needs and said stc was investing more on 5G networks in sectors such as industrial, manufacturing, health, education and so on.

Abdessattar Sassi, CTO UAE Office, ZTE Corporation said that 90% of failure in 5G is linked to determination of people who make it happen. He said that Chinese model of 5G deployment can be seen as the engine of 5G development.

In the panel discussion, ‘Enabling 5G and IoT enterprise services with edge computing’, Khaled Aldharrab Operations Sector VP, stc said that 5G is about the use cases – sensors, IoT devices and edge computing is enabler  for 5G. He said that stc was heavily investing in new era edge data centers and cloud data center for edge computing. He felt that as the case in any new technology, edge computing is still at an early stage.

Ali Katkhada, Group Chief Information Officer, Depa Group said that sectors such as construction were heavily benefitting from in 5G, edge computing in terms of labour management, QHSE, and communication due to its capability of processing data at the edge of networks.

In the presentation, 5G RAN in Private Networks, commscope’s Anis Khoury, Operations Director – MEA, CommScope discussed, private networks overview and use cases, global and regional market development, RAN solutions for private networks and planning infrastructures and network for private and public networks of tomorrow.

In the fireside chat ‘ZTE 5G Private Networks As A Service’, Fabio De Gaetano, Chief Adviser of ZTE Cloud CN in MEA, ZTE Corporation said that there is a need to address different business requirements with diversified modes (slicing mode, hybrid mode, dedicated mode) and that 5G offers some key enhancements for private networks such as 5G LAN, TSN.

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