5G: Leading tomorrow’s smart city revolution

Wojciech Bajda, head of Ericsson GCC, shares the company’s vision for smarter, seamless connectivity for tomorrow’s smart city propagation

Wojciech Bajda, head of Ericsson GCC.
Wojciech Bajda, head of Ericsson GCC.

Two thirds of the world’s population is projected to be living in cities by 2050. That’s a startling figure given that by 2050 the world will be home to almost 10 billion people. With this avid growth, the need for smarter urbanisation is becoming a key topic as the globe’s cities gear up for rapid digital transformation and societal change.

The vision for smarter, seamless connectivity in future cityscapes is coming to life across the world’s main centres. By 2025, 82 percent of subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa are expected to be for mobile broadband, according to Ericsson Mobility Report. As the intersection between burgeoning city agendas and future megatrends, 5G networks offer the higher speeds, lower latency, and increased bandwidth needed to power enriched smart city experiences for citizens, businesses, and governments.

In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is setting the pace for smart city innovation. Driven by government agendas such as UAE Vision 2021 and the Smart Dubai 2021 strategy, the city is transforming itself to become the happiest city on earth and a blueprint for other emergent smart cities to emulate. 

For the region as a whole, around 120 million 5G subscriptions are forecast for the end of 2025, with 90 million subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa, representing around 10 percent of total mobile subscriptions.

Populous markets that are early with 5G are likely to lead traffic growth – Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that 45 percent of total mobile data traffic will be carried by 5G networks by 2025.

The key to tomorrow’s smart city propagation lies in enhanced connected ecosystems. And 5G is emerging as a powerful tool to unlock the gateway to drastic growth and new technologies. From connected cities and buildings to autonomous transport and immersive communications, 5G technology will reduce costs, improve efficiency, and provide real-time open data exchanges in amazing new ways.

Driving smarter nodes

The digital society will result in the proliferation of effective innovations in the infrastructure that binds cities together. 5G-enabled innovation will power the enormous data and information flows needed to create safer, smarter roads, highways, and parking. The increase of mobility will also enable connected car and traffic light use cases to flourish. Internet of Things (IoT) applications in sectors such as Oil & Gas and Energy will create safer working environments, remote working and monitoring capabilities, and fuel more sustainable alternatives to energy production and consumption as the pool of data and usage insights grows.

From A to B, seamlessly

From 5G-enabled buses, metros and cars, the public transit space is set to be transported to a new era to give users enhanced mobility and livability in growing smart cities. This will enable city planners and governments to curb the need for cars on roads and ease the friction points of commuters’ journeys to ensure their lives are more seamless and happier as they go about their daily routines. 

Safer homes & communities

5G in the home will take a permanent place on the mantelpiece as IoT and AI innovations create safer environments for residents and citizens.  From enriched facilities management capabilities to enhanced connected security ecosystems, 5G will provide the foundation for technologies with intuitive and predictive capabilities to react to issues such as fires or security breaches in real-time.


Communication will form the basis of all intelligent interactions in smart cities. Whether, human to machine, machine to machine, or machine to human, connectivity will become commonplace in the digitised cityscapes of the future. As cities become denser with more buildings and populations spikes, telecommunications will feel the strain with the increase in subscribers. 5G networks will pioneer new modes of connectivity as breakthroughs in network slicing, enhanced mobile bandwidth, scalable sensor networks, and reliable cellular connectivity are advanced to cater to always-on digital needs.

The evolution of real-time telemetry will become a powerful tool across a never-ending variety of smart city applications. As challenges arise, 5G is the catalyst needed to respond to the pace of innovation. With the industry leadership and expertise needed to influence and inform the smart cities of tomorrow, Ericsson is proud to be at the vanguard of innovation as the world’s cities gear up for rapid digital transformation and societal change.

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