The Middle East is set to launch commercial 5G services later this year, but only 100,000 connections are predicted for 2019

With Middle Eastern telcos set to be amongst the first to launch mobile 5G services later this year, a new industry study has revealed that the region could see as many as 15.8 million mobile 5G connections by 2023.

A new report by GlobalData suggests that the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all be among the first in the region to connect customers to their 5G networks once handsets become commercially available later this year.

“The availability of commercial mobile 5G services in 2019 in the GCC will be mainly driven by national digital transformation plans, end-users’ enhanced mobile broadband (MBB) requirements and telcos’ need for increased network capacity and spectrum usage efficiency,” said Houda Bostanji, principal analyst at GlobalData.

In its Mobile 5G Commercialisation report, GlobalData predicts that Middle Eastern telcos will be among the first in the world to rollout 5G mobile services, along with telcos in Asia Pacific and North America.

“By the end of 2023, we project the number of mobile 5G subscriptions globally will reach 806.9 million, 8.1% of total mobile subscriptions worldwide,” said Bostanji.

So far, Du, Etisalat, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar and Saudi Telecom have all launched the network architecture that will underpin their commercial 5G rollout. 

Also in the news:

Du eyes 5G rollout in H2 2019

GSMA: Middle Eastern telcos will lead on 5G

Etisalat first Middle Eastern telco to break the $10bn valuation mark