Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 34 - Page 10

NEWS Two million Saudi pilgrims offered two million gigabytes of Internet access Mobily and Ericsson demonstrate 5G in Saudi Arabia S audi telecom operators Mobily and Ericsson have held a 5G demo at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, showcasing the capabilities of the next-generation mobile technology. Ericsson supplied Mobily with a standalone end-to-end 5G system, including a prototype 3.5GHz radio, baseband and prototype UE device for the 5G demo, which showcased 5G throughput, targeting speeds of up to 1Gbps. S audi Arabia’s Hadiyah Association has provided a total of two million gigabytes for two million pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Communications and Information Technology Commission worked in partnership with mobile operators Saudi Telecom, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Mobile Telecommunication Company Saudi Arabia (Zain), Virgin Mobile and Etihad Jawraa (Lebara). An official statement said that the initiative was in accordance with the directives of the custodians of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ‘to do 10 INTELLIGENTCIO everything possible to make it easy for pilgrims to perform the rituals of Hajj.’ Each subscriber to packages provided by the kingdom’s mobile operators had access to one gigabyte of data for 48 hours. The initiative allowed pilgrims to communicate with their families and enabled them to access the digital services available in the Smart Hajj initiative in order to enhance their experience and allow them to take advantage of enhanced communication services. “This initiative is just one of the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Communications and Information Technology Commission and all mobile service providers in the kingdom to provide the best communication services to pilgrims during this pilgrimage season,” the statement said. The demo is part of Mobily’s plan to highlight the expected 5G benefits for consumers and industries across Saudi Arabia. 5G will deliver high-data speeds and low latency, which will enhance user experience for Mobily customers. 5G is also one of the primary enablers for new and emerging use cases in industries such as autonomous fleet management, robotics and critical machine-to-machine communication in healthcare. Mazid Al Harbi, CTO of Mobily, said: “We are wholly supportive of Saudi Vision 2030 and the push towards enhancing our digital economy. Our investment in 5G is demonstrative of our commitment to improving network performance and enhancing the customer experience across Saudi Arabia. “Our partnership with Ericsson enables us to provide a state-of-the art scalable network to serve consumers and industries across Saudi Arabia now and in the 5G future.”