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Tapping 5G potential 'vital in age of digital economy'.

Manama: Bahrain must tap the immense potential of 5G and IoT to boost its progress in the age of digital economy, the acting general director of TRA said.

He was speaking at a major forum organised by SAMENA Telecommunications Council, with the patronage of TRA-Bahrain.

The Convergence to Bahrain 2020 conference brought together leading private sector industry players across the terrestrial, satellite and technology domains and regionally renowned top executives.

It was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain Bay.

TRA Bahrain acting general director Shaikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, in his opening keynote speech, delineated the relevance of IoT and 5G technology and how it will impact the future.

"The more we delve into exploring 5G and the myriad of possibilities it can create in combination with IoT, the more practical use-cases surface, justifying the need to incentivise 5G investments at both network and service levels," Shaikh Nasser said.

"Autonomous vehicles, smart grids, autonomous farming; the applications are endless, and the world is exploring them as we speak, at a rapid pace.

"With such powerful network capacity and speed, we have a duty to unearth all possible beneficial uses of 5G and IoT and tap the immense potential, which can catalyse Bahrain's as well as the region's progress in the age of the digital economy," he said.

The conference was attended by telecoms and ICT industry leaders from around the Mena region.

It consisted of a variety of panel discussions, focusing on regional 5G implementation, technology use-cases for terrestrial and satellite industry in the 5G space, including IoT, financing models to aid 5G investments and network implementation, and open discussion steered toward understanding the future of 5G connectivity, collaboration and regulation.

The conference was an effort to exchange insights on key IoT trends and use-cases that are made possible with 5G network deployments and to draw focus on the role that operators can and should take in leading the way in 5G-enabled IoT applications and digital services in regional as well as specific country contexts, including market-specific monetisation opportunities available to operators going beyond traditional data packages.

SAMENA Council's chief executive Bocar BA said their interest in conducting a 5G and IoT conference in Bahrain was driven by multiple factors, including the Kingdom's increasing readiness to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution underway; a business-friendly environment that encourages international businesses and top executives to visit the Kingdom; and, under the TRA's watch, a continued focus on sustainable investments in digital technology infrastructure.

"Bahrain ranks among the most mature ICT markets in the whole of the SA-ME-NA region and it is a comfortable destination for conducting business-centric industry meetings that require multiple stakeholders with varying profiles to convene together," he said.

Major regional industry players, including Batelco Group, stc Group, Zain Group, Orange MEA, AT&T, Arabsat, Huawei, among others, took frontal role in the conference. Leading Bahraini private sector and public-sector companies also took part.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Feb 7, 2020
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