Ericsson and Mobily demo 5G in Jeddah mall

Partners show potential benefits of 5G for business and consumers at Mall of Arabia

Ericsson and Mobily's demo at Mall of Arabia drew the crowds.
Ericsson and Mobily's demo at Mall of Arabia drew the crowds.

Mobily and Ericsson have held a consumer demonstration of 5G technology at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah.

Although 5G technology will not be available to consumers in any meaningful way until at least mid-2019, the two companies hosted a demonstration in the mall to highlight the benefits that 5G is predicted to offer consumers and industries.

Ericsson supplied a standalone end-to-end 5G system including a prototype 3.5GHz radio, baseband and prototype UE device to support Mobily's 5G demo. During the event, Mobily and Ericsson showcased 5G throughput, targeting speeds up to 1Gbps.

The demo is part of Mobily's plan to highlight the benefits that 5G will bring for both consumers and industries across Saudi Arabia. On the consumer front, 5G promises to deliver high data speeds and low latency, which will enhance the user experience for Mobily customers. In addition to this, 5G is 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.

"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," commented Mazid Al Harbi, Mobily CTO.

The first ‘commercial' 5G networks and devices based on the 3GPP standards are expected by the end of this year, and many operators are talking up the technology. There have been warnings from some industry analysts that the potential for the technology is being over-hyped by industry players, and that the real benefits of the technology will not be seen for some years.

Ericsson estimates the number of 5G subscriptions will reach one billion by the end of 2023.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said: "For our long-term partner Mobily, 5G unlocks the potential for new and better customer experience while improving revenue streams. We look forward to achieving this together today and in the future."

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