5G in the Middle East and Africa

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Contents About the author, Part 1 MEA 5G market dynamics 3. MEA set for some of the world s, first 5G launches 3. 5G for national development 3, Part 2 5G deployments in MEA 5. Gulf markets and South Africa Matthew Reed, aim for 5G lead 5. The UAE 5 Matthew Reed is the Practice Leader for Ovum s Middle. Saudi Arabia 5 East and Africa regional research He is responsible. for the data and written research for the region which. Qatar 6 includes detailed coverage of local markets His research. South Africa 6 interests include operator strategy within the MEA region. Vodacom sets out 5G plans 7 as well as network and regulatory developments . Part 3 5G services and applications in MEA 8 Matthew is a regular speaker and chair at industry. conferences in the region He also regularly comments. 5G use cases 8 on industry developments for local and international. Quick wins with 5G broadband 9 media , 5G evolution and new use cases 11.
Integrating 5G into smart cities 11, Gulf mega events will give impetus to 5G 11. Part 4 Recommendations for 5G development, in MEA 12. Recommendations for 5G network, development by operators and their. vendor partners 12, Recommendations for regulators and. governments 13, Recommendations for the industry as it.
develops 5G applications and services 13, Copyright Ovum 2018 All rights reserved . The contents of this product are protected by international copyright laws database rights and other intellectual property rights The owner of these rights is Informa Telecoms and Media. Limited our affiliates or other third party licensors All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this product are the trademarks service marks or trading. names of their respective owners including Informa Telecoms and Media Limited This product may not be copied reproduced distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means. without the prior permission of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this product was correct. as at the date of first publication neither Informa Telecoms and Media Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa Telecoms and Media Limited accepts any liability for any. errors omissions or other inaccuracies Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard readers assume full responsibility and risk. accordingly for their use of such information and content Any views and or opinions expressed in this product by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and or opinions. and do not necessarily reflect the views and or opinions of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited . 2 TMT intelligence informa 2018 Ovum All rights reserved . Part 1 MEA 5G market dynamics,MEA set for some of the world s first 5G launches. The Middle East and Africa MEA region is usually a follower rather than a leader in the launch of new. technologies But with 5G things will be different . Operators in the UAE Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be among the first in the world to launch 5G. commercially starting with 5G fixed wireless broadband FWB services from as early as the end of 2018 . and adding 5G mobile services as 5G smartphones become available from mid 2019 These early launches. of 5G will put Gulf operators and markets on a par with some of the most advanced operators worldwide . South Africa is preparing for 5G too though launches there are expected to come later than in the advanced. Gulf markets and progress with 5G in South Africa will depend on factors such as the allocation of. spectrum South Africa s two biggest mobile operators Vodacom and MTN both have 5G trials underway . and Vodacom says it will be ready to launch 5G in South Africa as soon as it has the necessary spectrum In. August 2018 Vodacom said it had set up a commercial 5G service in Lesotho in southern Africa to initially. deliver FWB services to two enterprise customers Two other operators in South Africa Comsol and Rain . are also planning to launch 5G FWB services ,5G for national development. The early moves toward 5G in the Gulf build on the fact that these markets are already advanced in their. deployment and adoption of network technologies with some having among the highest levels of high . speed mobile and fixed broadband penetration in the world Additionally several Gulf countries are. pursuing ambitious national development projects with plans such as the UAE s Vision 2021 and Saudi. Arabia s Vision 2030 seeking to improve public services and encourage economic diversification particularly. through the expansion of the knowledge and technology based sectors . Officials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE say that the early adoption of 5G which will provide faster broadband. connections and enable new consumer enterprise and public sector applications will help to advance their. development plans Some major events scheduled to take place in the region particularly the Expo 2020. exhibition in Dubai in the UAE and the soccer World Cup in Qatar in 2022 are also expected to provide a. stimulus and showcase for 5G services Similarly Saudi Arabia s latest new city project Neom is expected. to employ new technologies such as 5G from its earliest stages Neom which is to be built in the northeast. of Saudi Arabia is intended to lead the country s efforts to develop a knowledge economy as part of the. Vision 2030 plan , Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have set up bodies to facilitate the progress of 5G The UAE has established. a National Committee for 5G with three sub committees focusing respectively on spectrum network. developments and verticals Saudi Arabia has formed a National 5G Task Force to bring together. representatives from government operators equipment vendors and potential user groups . Of course the MEA region is highly diverse and while some of its telecoms markets are very advanced . others are less so Operators in Egypt one of the most populous countries in the region only launched. LTE as recently as 2017 Iraq s national operators have only progressed as far as 3G In less advanced MEA. markets it might take some time to develop the business case for 5G The regulatory preparations such. as the allocation of spectrum could take time too . The ITU is to make official decisions about 5G spectrum at its World Radiocommunication Conference 2019. WRC 19 which will be held in Egypt in late 2019 In the meantime the industry is already making practical. decisions about spectrum and in MEA it is planning to use the 700MHz 3 4 3 8GHz and 26GHz bands for. 5G However many countries in the region particularly in sub Saharan Africa have not yet completed the. switchover to digital TV broadcasting that is necessary to free up spectrum in the 700MHz band and which. was supposed to be finalized by mid 2015 , 2018 Ovum All rights reserved TMT intelligence informa 3.
Nevertheless the emergence of some early 5G deployments in MEA could spur the deployment of 5G more. widely in the region Ovum expects that 5G will have been launched in 10 MEA countries by the end of 2023 . There will be 26 8 million 5G subscriptions in MEA by end 2023 forecasts Ovum But 3G and increasingly . 4G will continue to be the dominant technologies for mobile broadband in the region over the coming few. years see Figure 1 , Figure 1 MEA mobile subscriptions forecast by technology 2018 23. 2G 3G 4G 5G, 1 800, 1 600, Subscriptions millions . 1 400, 1 200, 1 000, 800, 600, 400, 200, 0, 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023. Source Ovum, 4 TMT intelligence informa 2018 Ovum All rights reserved . Part 2 5G deployments in MEA,Gulf markets and South Africa aim for 5G lead.
Advanced Gulf markets notably the UAE Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the first in the MEA. region to launch 5G as well as among the first in the world Major operators in South Africa are also. preparing to launch the first 5G services on the African continent see Figure 2 . Figure 2 Selected MEA 5G plans and deployments, Qatar . Ooredoo planning commercial, 5G FWB by end of 2018 . UAE , Etisalat plans to launch 5G FWB, by end 2018 . Saudi Arabia , 5G trials underway commercial, services expected by end 2018 . South Africa , Vodacom and MTN have 5G trials underway .
Lesotho , Vodacom said it launched Africa s first commercial. 5G service in August 2018 delivering 5G FWB to, two enterprise customers . Source Ovum,The UAE, The UAE is typically at the forefront of technological developments in the region and that is the case with. 5G The UAE s telecoms regulator the TRA has assigned spectrum for initial 5G deployments and set up. a series of committees to bring together parties with a stake in 5G development The UAE s two telecoms. operators Etisalat and Du are preparing for early launches of 5G Etisalat says that it plans to launch. commercial 5G FWB in the UAE toward the end of 2018 with mobile 5G to follow in 2019 as 5G smartphones. become available Du plans to deploy 5G network equipment in 2018 and offer commercial 5G services from. early 2019 ,Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia sees 5G as an important part of its Vision 2030 national development plan and the Kingdom. is pressing ahead with preparations for 5G Saudi Arabia is determined to be a world leader in 5G to take. early advantage of its benefits commented the Kingdom s Minister of Communications and Information. Technology Abdullah Al Sawahah in a recent statement . Saudi Arabia set up a National 5G Task Force in early 2018 to bring together government operators . equipment vendors and potential user groups and in May 2018 the CITC Saudi Arabia s telecoms. regulator awarded test and trial 5G licenses to Saudi Arabia s three national mobile operators STC . Mobily and Zain The test and trial licenses allow the operators to run pilot 5G deployments using. spectrum in the 3 6 3 8GHz band STC Saudi Arabia s biggest operator has set up a 5G trial in the eastern. 2018 Ovum All rights reserved TMT intelligence informa 5. city of Al Khobar The CITC is expected to convert the 5G test and trial licenses into long term awards of 5G. spectrum which will allow the Saudi operators to start offering commercial 5G services . Qatar, In Qatar Ooredoo says that as of May 2018 it has a live network based on the Non standalone New Radio.
NSA NR standards which were agreed by industry body the 3GPP in December 2017 as the first standards. for 5G Ooredoo aims to have 100 5G sites in Qatar s capital Doha by late summer 2018 which will give. coverage of most of the city The operator is using spectrum in the 3 5GHz band for its initial 5G deployment . though the CRA Qatar s telecoms regulator is also planning to allocate spectrum in the 700MHz band for. 5G and is considering using the 26GHz band for 5G as well . Initially Ooredoo will use 5G to provide FWB as CPEs for FWB are the first type of 5G device that will be. available The operator has conducted a trial of 5G FWB services with Qatar Airways It expects that 5G. mobile devices will become available from the end of 2018 starting with tablets followed by dongles and. MiFi units Ooredoo s operations in Kuwait and Oman also plan early launches of 5G In Kuwait especially . competitive dynamics and high levels of mobile data traffic support the case for deploying 5G . South Africa, South Africa s two biggest operators Vodacom and MTN are preparing to launch 5G while mobile data. provider Rain as well as open access network provider Comsol have unveiled 5G plans too . However both MTN and Vodacom say that they will need access to spectrum in the 3 5GHz band to deploy. 5G in South Africa In the meantime MTN has revealed that it is running what it says is South Africa s. first 5G customer trial a 5G FWB service at the headquarters of the technology company Netstar MTN s. customer trial with Netstar was announced in November 2018 and is using spectrum in the 28GHz band . Vodacom will be ready to launch 5G in South Africa once the necessary spectrum is made available . according to CEO Shameel Joosub In August 2018 Vodacom launched what it described as Africa s first. commercial 5G service for two enterprise customers in Lesotho where Vodacom does have access to. 3 5GHz spectrum , In October 2018 Rain which has rolled out an LTE Advanced network in urban centers in South Africa. over the past 18 months said that it also plans to deploy 5G Rain will use spectrum in the 3 6GHz band to. roll out and launch 5G services during 2019 starting with FWB Comsol also plans to launch commercial 5G. services in South Africa by the end of 2019 using spectrum in the 28GHz band . 6 TMT intelligence informa 2018 Ovum All rights reserved . VODACOM SETS OUT 5G PLANS, Ovum interviewed Nicholas Naidu Managing Executive for Technology Strategy Architecture Innovation. at Vodacom about the operator s plans for 5G ,What are Vodacom s plans for 5G . It is important for us to launch 5G in South Africa to remain at the forefront of global digital innovation But in. South Africa we are facing a spectrum crunch right now South Africa has not yet completed the digital dividend. migration which was due to be completed in 2015 according to an ITU deadline so the 700MHz and 800MHz. spectrum bands are currently unusable for mobile communications and remain . The Middle East and Africa MEA region is usually a follower rather than a leader in the launch of new technologies But with 5G things will be different Operators in the UAE Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be among the first in the world to launch 5G

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