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GCC to see 62mn 5G users by 2026

6 Jul 2021

Oman and other GCC countries are poised to be the region with the second highest 5G penetration by 2026, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

Ericsson projects that 5G mobile subscriptions in the GCC, including Oman, will exceed 62mn by the end of 2026, representing about 73 per cent of total mobile subscriptions.

The forecast, which features in the 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, estimates that 80 per cent of total mobile data traffic in the GCC countries is forecast to be carried by 5G networks in 2026.

New 5G applications and services are expected to have a profound impact on a range of industry verticals.

Abdullah al Balushi, country manager of Ericsson Oman, said, “We believe that digital transformation is key for the overall socio-economic prosperity of all countries. Promoting technological innovation, such as in Oman Vision 2040, will drive growth of advanced use in Oman as the region prepares for a post-pandemic world. 5G will bring new capabilities allowing Omani operators to develop innovative applications, services and revenue streams for the enterprise market and beyond.”

GCC service providers were among the first in the world to launch 5G, with commercial services available in most of the member states in 2019.

Mobile service providers are using 5G network performance as a key differentiator in a highly competitive market. This is positioning the GCC countries to be second only to North America in 5G subscription penetration by the end of 2026.

Furthermore, over 90 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region were for mobile broadband at the end of 2020 and this is estimated to reach 95 per cent in 2026.

In terms of mobile data, data traffic per smartphone was the highest globally at the end of 2020, exceeding 18GB per month. By the end of the forecast period, it is expected to reach an average of 42GB per month, the report said.

In a business environment infused with initiatives that encourage digitisation, service providers are incentivised to keep up with the latest technologies and meet the projected demand from tech-savvy consumers.

This, Ericsson Mobility Report said, is bringing monetisation opportunities for service providers when it comes to entertainment, lifestyle, tourism, education, and the workplace.

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