Muscat: 5G mobile subscriptions in the GCC, including Oman, will exceed 62 million by the end of 2026, representing about 73 per cent of total mobile subscriptions, according to a new report by Ericsson. This will make the GCC the region with the second-highest 5G penetration at that time.
The forecast, which features in the 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, estimates that 80 per cent of total mobile data traffic in the GCC countries is forecast to be carried by 5G networks in 2026. New 5G applications and services are expected to have a profound impact on a range of industry verticals.
GCC service providers were among the first in the world to launch 5G, with commercial services available in most of the member states during 2019. Service providers are using 5G network performance as a key to differentiation in a highly competitive market. This is positioning the GCC countries to be second only to North America for 5G subscription penetration by the end of 2026.
Furthermore, over 90 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region were for mobile broadband at the end of 2020 and this is estimated to reach 95 per cent in 2026. In terms of mobile data, data traffic per smartphone was the highest globally at the end of 2020, exceeding 18GB per month. By the end of the forecast period, it is expected to reach an average of 42GB per month.
Abdullah Al Balushi, Country Manager of Ericsson Oman, says, “We believe that digital transformation is key for the overall socio-economic prosperity of all countries. Promoting technological innovation such as Oman Vision 2040 will drive the growth of advanced use cases in Oman as the region prepares for a post-pandemic world. 5G will bring new capabilities allowing Omani operators to develop innovative applications, services, and revenue streams for the enterprise market and beyond.”
In a business environment infused with initiatives that encourage digitisation, service providers are incentivised to keep up with the latest technologies and meet the projected demand from tech-savvy consumers. This is bringing monetisation opportunities for service providers when it comes to entertainment, lifestyle, tourism, education, and the workplace.