5G to speed up development of communications infrastructure

The roll

out of 5G will also accelerate the development of wider communications

infrastructure in Qatar, according to Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari, CEO,

Qatar-based satellite services operator Es’hailSat.

“While the

deployment of 5G will increase pressure on satellite service providers,

it will also create a stronger operational environment, one in which

terrestrial and satellite providers offer complementary services,”

al-Kuwari told OBG.

“Satellites, for instance, will continue to

comprise a critical piece of disaster management systems, in addition to

providing connectivity in areas that are unreachable for fibre optic


Qatar has taken an early lead in the roll out of 5G mobile

services, with the country’s two operators, Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar,

both launching their next generation networks in recent months.


run initial test services in May, Ooredoo announced at the end of July

that it had successfully launched 5G services at 50 network stations

across the country, making it the first company in the world to roll out

a commercially available 5G network.

On August 26, Vodafone Qatar

switched on its own 5G service, with its first enterprise customer,

submarine cable provider Gulf Bridge International, connected two days

later at the Qatar Science and Technology Park.

The competing 5G

services offer rapid connectivity, with download speeds in excess of

1GBps, and ultra-low latency, meaning very short delays for data


Consequently, subscribers should notice improved

performance in functions such as voice over internet protocol, streaming

services, content downloads and online gaming.

The launch of 5G

services should also open doors for those local ICT players able to take

advantage of expanded bandwidth capacities to develop new applications

and advanced programming.

One area likely to benefit significantly

from higher mobile network speeds is Qatar’s burgeoning Internet of

Things (IoT) segment, which requires high speeds of data transmission to

facilitate the introduction of IoT applications, such as driverless

vehicles, smart transport technology and augmented reality.


announced in March that it was partnering with Germany-based Software AG

to use the latter’s Cumolcity IoT platform to provide its business

customers with IoT solutions, and, following the launch of Ooredoo’s 5G

network its chief operating officer, Yousuf Abdullah al-Kubaisi, said

the firm expected significant potential for IoT applications in the

transport, retail, energy, healthcare, education and entertainment


“Demand for Internet capacity is forecast to grow rapidly in

the coming years from both enterprises and individuals. Local capacity

requirements will increase as a major component of Qatar’s Vision 2030

is focused on raising the country’s digital capabilities,” Abdulla

al-Rwaili, managing director and executive vice-chairman at Gulf Bridge

International, told OBG, “This demand will come from a range of sectors

including education, transport, hydrocarbons and government services.”


spending on ICT is expected to continue, particularly in developing

integrated e-government services, which will also help boost the

country’s digital capabilities.

“Despite the ongoing blockade there

have been no cuts to government spending on the ICT sector –

particularly on developing the country’s e-government capacity and the

digital transformation of Qatar’s economy,” Yousef al-Naama, managing

director of IT services firm Malomatia, told OBG.


investments in infrastructure and supportive technologies are already

paying dividends in Qatar, which ranked first for its mobile internet

provision in the July 2018 edition of the Speedtest Global Index, a

monthly survey undertaken by the network tester Ookla.

Qatari users’ mobile download speeds averaged 62.63 Mbps, almost three times the international average of 22.81 Mbps.


while its rank of 52nd in fixed-line download speeds indicates that

there is ground to be made up in that regard, the development of 5G

capacity is expected to hasten the shift towards mobile usage and,

correspondingly, further erode the significance of fixed-line access.


the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure has matured,

opportunities for ancillary IT services such as cybersecurity have seen

commensurate growth.

 “With the growing cyber threat, the need for

secure telecom networks is increasing along with ancillary IT services

such as cyber security.  Customers are aware of these threats,

particularly the government entities, and are demanding the service

providers to secure their networks,” Ahmed Salman Ali al-Sulaiti, CEO of

state-owned ICT infrastructure provider Qatar National Broadband

Network, told OBG.

“Residual resistance to market changes has

dwindled,” he said. “The market now knows exactly what it needs to

protect its information, and we expect this to strengthen demand for

private and special networks for secure data servers.”

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes