Getting ready for 5G

Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer of du, on how 5G will impact businesses in the Middle East

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What are the major enterprise 5G trends to watch in 2021?

Following the rollout of this transformative technology, the impact of 5G on the telecoms landscape will be revolutionary in the years ahead. Having begun our 5G preparations in 2016, we launched commercially in May 2019 and the transformation implications are already apparent.

Thanks to network slicing and mobile edge computing 5G capabilities, a wide range of enterprise use cases will emerge in the near future, including critical IoT, virtualized network as a services, collaborated robots, connected vehicles, and life-saving applications. This will help reduce enterprise sector operational costs, improving overall efficiency by relying on the operator network based on offered service level agreements for each use case. Furthermore, fixed wireless access will offer additional value to both the consumer and enterprise sectors.


Do you think 5G will be a catalyst for digital transformation?

At du, we take great pride in our 5G progression and implementation approach, which enables us to drive technology innovation and our digital transformation initiatives. In the short-term, we will continue to witness the transformative impacts of emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT) – which will shape the future of the telecoms industry.

Moreover, 5G-related digital transformation will also be driven by the national ecosystem, enabling quicker adoption of services, ensuring returns on investments for all concerned parties, and accelerating technology deployment across a wider region. The coming period undoubtedly represents an exciting next phase for the industry and operators will become better positioned to succeed in the digital landscape and deliver more meaningful experiences to partners, customers, and the communities they serve.


Do you expect a surge in private 5G networks and what are the factors to be considered when deploying private networks?

The robust infrastructure of the UAE telecommunications sector has helped to establish a strong position in the region. We are in full alignment with TRA and government sectors about 5G use cases and we are working with our partners to strengthen related platforms and the entire ecosystem.

We will certainly see a surge in 5G private networks. They will play a crucial role in allowing enterprises to capitalise on sustainability, drive operational efficiency, and accelerate their digital transformation plans with a fully customised service offering.

In terms of designing and deploying private 5G networks over telecom operator infrastructure, there are many factors to be considered. These include assessing the capacity, criticality, coverage and the required service level agreement.


Will 5G require a new approach to cybersecurity?

Any new digital technology will come with its own cybersecurity approach and 5G is no exception. Thanks to our strong security system that was built across all technologies, we are able to implement and adhere to security measures and global standards for the 5G network. In line with our network strategy, we strongly believe that advanced, secure network infrastructure is the key to enabling faster response times for business decision-makers and reaping the benefits of smart cities and the digital economy.

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