INTERVIEW: Operators in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region must act quickly to develop the business cases that will allow them to make the most of 5G, Ericsson MEA head of networks Chafic Traboulsi told Mobile World Live.
Speaking at the recent GSMA Mobile360 MENA event in Dubai, Traboulsi said although significant preparation had already taken place, more needed to be done if operators were to fulfill the 5G opportunity – which the company estimates could add 34 per cent to industry revenue.
“It’s a huge opportunity that just has to be seized,” he said. “It’s there for grabs, but obviously the work is still at its infancy. We can see there are some trials that are happening in the region, but that’s not enough, we have to work on the business side. We need to find how we can get that 34 per cent.”
He added the main challenge for many was securing the investment needed, highlighting the importance of establishing the business case.
“No operator is going to invest without having the ability to tap into this 34 per cent, but the problem is – if you wait too long it’s going to be gone,” he noted.
In its most recent Mobility Report, Ericsson said it expects 5G networks in the region to reach around 17 million subscriptions by 2023.
To see the full interview, which also includes details of Ericsson’s priorities for the region and progress made on IoT infrastructure, click here.