The GSMA says that the GCC nations will lead on 5G, as it commences its Mobile 360 event in Dubai this week

Telcos from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are set to lead the world on 5G rollout, according to the GSMA.

5G mobile services are expected to be launched in all 6 of the GCC states (namely, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) within two years.  

“Backed by proactive government support, mobile operators, particularly in the GCC Arab States, have been quick to establish the foundations for global leadership in the deployment of 5G technology, moving rapidly from trials to early commercialisation,” said John Giusti, chief regulatory officer at the GSMA.

“While we are encouraged by their progress to date, it is imperative that the region’s governments create a regulatory environment that allows 5G to flourish, including releasing sufficient spectrum, so that businesses and citizens can fully enjoy the innovative new services that 5G will deliver, as well as the resulting socio-economic benefits.”

The GSMA has recently launched two reports focussing on 5G deployment in the Middle East – ‘The Mobile Economy: Middle East and North Africa 2018’ and ‘5G in MENA: GCC operators set for global leadership’. The reports were launched at the GSMA’s Mobile 360 event in Dubai this week.

The GSMA claims that by 2025, 5G will account for 16 per cent of the total connections in the GCC.

The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have all claimed to have launched 5G services in the last three months. However, with no 5G ready devices yet on the market, 5G services are not expected to be commercially available in the region until the first or second quarter of 2019.

The GCC nations have among the highest data consumption rates per capita anywhere in the world, making 5G a genuine priority for telcos in the region. 

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