In a groundbreaking speech at the 14th Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) held in Dubai, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, Ken Hu, underscored the transformative power of 5G technology as a catalyst for multi-sectorial growth.
Hu’s address shed light on how 5G is reshaping industries, making various sectors commercially viable and driving innovation on a global scale.
Hu highlighted that the capabilities of 5G have opened new avenues for mobile service providers, allowing them to enhance their business-to-business (B2B) solutions. Additionally, it has granted industries such as mining and manufacturing newfound commercial viability.
“Clearly, 5G has become a new growth engine for mobile operators, and I think the biggest difference is that 5G capabilities gave the industry a great opportunity to gain access to B2B markets,” Mr. Hu noted.
Over the past four years, key scenarios have emerged, including remote-controlled machines, while sectors like mining and manufacturing are experiencing an upscaling of commercial capabilities.
The Chairman also pointed out that 5G has transitioned from the experimental phase to becoming commercially viable. Currently, the world boasts at least 260 operational 5G networks, covering nearly half of the global population. Moreover, there are almost 1.5 billion 5G users worldwide, surpassing the adoption rate of its predecessor, 4G.
Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA, echoed Hu’s sentiments, emphasizing that the participation of non-tech companies, such as fintech and aviation, in 5G initiatives is on the rise.
These industries are keen to explore how they can leverage the capabilities of 5G technology. Granryd added, “5G is already a success story, and it is poised to become an even bigger success in the coming years.”
While the rollout of 5G technology is in its nascent stages in countries like Zambia, the enthusiasm to deploy it on a larger scale, particularly by telecommunications companies like MTN, remains strong.
In January 2023, MTN Zambia launched the first-ever commercial 5G network in Zambia, with promises to transform businesses and enhance connectivity.
Countries like Botswana are already exploring the potential of 5G in the mining sector, underscoring the significant opportunities that 5G technology presents for the extractive industry in Zambia and beyond.
Several African nations, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, have emerged as pioneers in the deployment of 5G internet on the continent.
This year’s MBBF conference is set to provide insights into the imperative need for accelerated 5G deployment. The event, which originated in Oslo in 2023, has evolved into an annual gathering of industry leaders who discuss mobile communications, share insights, and explore trends in the ever-evolving world of mobile technology.
The 2023 forum will encompass both online and onsite activities, offering an exciting platform for participants in the mobile and related vertical ecosystems to delve into 5G’s impact on businesses, foster ecosystem maturity, and expedite the commercialization of 5.5G technology.