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5G and the public sector: a plethora of change awaits

Yehia El Amine

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5G and the public sector

A person residing in a rural area is in dire need of surgery, and the nearest hospital is 100 Km away; the alternative? They check into a remote surgical facility close to home, in parallel, a surgeon conducts the operation via robot from his office in the city, and then provides the family with post-op feedback via video conferencing.

Miles away, a public works employee is in research for a leaky pipe under a building; by simply putting on AR/VR glasses, the employee is able to quickly and accurately pinpoint the location of the pipe to dig safely and more efficiently.

These are but a fraction of the possibilities that will arise once 5G and the public sector converge.

5G will massively increase network speeds across the board, while significantly reducing latency; this network has been designed to support as many as one million devices per square kilometer, which is 10 times the density possible with the current 4G network.

However, unlike its predecessor, the adoption of the fifth generation of mobile networks will be enterprise not consumer led.

“This will suit innovative enterprises with the imagination to take full advantage of this ‘campus capability’ before the full national rollouts of 5G that will be required for the consumer market”, says a report by KPMG.

Thus, governments worldwide have a vital role to play in paving the way for next generation mobile technology and the next industrial revolution to reach their full potential, as well as areas concerning 5G and the public sector.

Governments of the world need to fully identify and start building strategies around 5G to provide better services for the masses, better economic and trade conditions, as well as optimize their work to reach the highest number of people possible.

If the cards are played right, then humanity can start to witness monumental change in how everyday activities will occur; so let’s jump right in.

Government operations

5G will allow government workers unprecedented levels of access to real time information from any device, anywhere, and anytime, such as field workers, first responders, agricultural inspectors, and many more.

Law enforcement

The ability to capture, deliver and analyze live data streams in real time will be made possible with a mix of Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which would provide law enforcement with information to make the best decisions possible.

Human services

Human service caseworkers can be provided with a set list of 5G-powered gadgets such as AR glasses, high-quality body cameras that could be used during field visits to children; these gadgets would be provide real time data about the neighborhood, the nearest park, bus stops, school, as well as recent crime data.

This information will greatly aid social workers in making the wisest decision possible in terms of a child’s living conditions. 

Postal offices

Post workers will be able to unlock the ability to accurately track shipments, packages, vehicles, and many more from anywhere, while being able to schedule deliveries, anticipate delay times, in order to massively enhance customer service.

Smart ports

Smart ports can deliver anything from automated cargo handling, real time ship tracking, and safety improvements, all while managing energy use for greener and more efficient practices.

The port’s command center would be equipped with AI tools to calculate data streams from camera feeds and sensors on the ground to accurately manage ship arrivals and cargo offloads, maximizing space in container storage.

Smart military bases

Military bases are considered to be micro cities, thus 5G can be used in the same ways, and much more case sensitive purposes.

Let’s take the example of an airbase.

According to Nokia’s Vice President of Federal Government Sales, Randy Coltrin, airbases use many different data and radio networks to manage and control a multitude of different functions such as flight line communications and security system monitoring.

“Using a capability called network slicing, 5G technology allows users, such as the Air Force, to provide very high, mission-critical communications to an airbase flight line within and as part of a single larger network,” Coltrin was quoted as saying.

He also added that 5G could be used to provide soldiers with improved situational awareness and allows entire units and platforms faster and more accurate responses to threats in a dynamic environment.

Remote surgery

Rural areas will be the first to benefit from remote surgery, since this will provide them with better healthcare services across the board.

Not only that, 5G and AI could usher in the construction of remote surgical facilities to present rural healthcare, veteran health, as well as on-field combat medicine.

Public works and infrastructure

The digitization of public assets, blueprints, underground infrastructure maps, power lines, pipes, gas pipelines and so much more can be used, accessed and assessed quicker and more accurately, especially while embedded with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. 

From another perspective, public works departments and ministries can visualize in real time the location of all assets in every part of a city; these can be used in a wide array of ways, such as reconstruction efforts, as well as notifying officials of potential leakages and blockages before they actually occur.

Reduce vehicle carbon emissions

The rise of 5G in the public sector will bring with it autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation methods and practices that can greatly reduce the number of accidents on the road.

City operations

With real time data and accurate forecast estimates, cities will be able to recalibrate their services in coordination with environmental changes.

IoT sensors can collect real time data on things such as weather, traffic, pollution rates, and trash collection; this paves the way for city leaders to work alongside local businesses, civil society groups and educational institutions according to the data provided and adapt the city’s operations accordingly.

This is just the beginning of what 5G and IoT can bring to the public sector, as time goes by and as more discoveries and inventions surface, it will transform the way we live on a massive scale, propelling humanity to the unmatched possibilities.

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Yehia is an investigative journalist and editor with extensive experience in the news industry as well as digital content creation across the board. He strives to bring the human element to his writing.

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Omantel successfully tests enhanced 5G at its HQ

Karim Husami

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enhanced 5G

Omantel has successfully tested on Monday the 5G High Band at its headquarters in Madinat al Irfan under the supervision of TRA.

The 5G test using the mmWave, which successfully concluded recently in association with Ericsson, demonstrated enhanced network capabilities with mmWave bandwidth more than multiple times higher than existing 5G speed.

In a press release issued today, the telco said that “The successful 5G test paves the way for enhanced 5G capabilities for consumers and businesses across the Sultanate. The next step may see 5G greatly enhances user experience at mobile broadband hotspots when using the fixed and mobile internet especially in crowded spaces such as during festivals and events.”

The technology will also enable low-latency industry applications like Augmented Reality (AR), its applications, robots, and other future technologies, according to Omantel.

Dr. Ali Al Hashmi General Manager of Networks at Omantel said, “mmWave 5G technology is a cornerstone of upcoming 5G networks, allowing for faster data speeds and much higher bandwidth than ever before.”

He added: “The success of 5G test with Ericsson paves the way for many more applications as 5G has opened up possibilities of newer, smarter solutions in every area of daily life and business. Omantel is happy to have partnered with Ericsson for this and look forward to exciting new applications as Oman Vision 2040 opens a new chapter in Oman’s ICT landscape.”

State-owned Omantel announced four months ago the launch of its 5G mobile services within the Sultanate, providing users further value and speed, as they place the full potential of the fifth generation of communications into their hands.

The operator had previously setup its 5G rollout roadmap as early back as 2019, with Oman introducing 5G home broadband for certain areas around the country in December of the same year.

Ability to deliver multi-gigabit speeds

The trial demonstrated Omantel’s ability to deliver multi-gigabit speeds to end- user with eight cell carrier aggregation functionalities using Ericsson’s state-of-the-art Street macro mm Wave solution and advanced 5G software features. The trial used a carrier bandwidth of 800MHz at 26GHz.

The last few years have seen Omantel emerge as the leader in 5G network capabilities. Several live field trials, followed by the introduction of Massive MIMO technology in some governorates of Oman to bring high-speed cross-network data transmission for its subscribers laid the groundwork for the official launch of fixed wireless 5G services in Oman in late 2019, followed by 5G for mobile in 2021.

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Ooredoo Oman 5G record for MIMO single user downlink data rate

Inside Telecom Staff

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Ooredoo Oman 5G

Ooredoo Oman said it recently recorded downlink speeds of more than 5 Gbps on a commercial 5G Massive MIMO single sector, one of the first such tests in the region.

Demonstrating its technology leadership, 5G Massive MIMO delivers eight times more capacity for home internet compared to 4G, and 20 times more capacity on mobile.

As the latest major milestone in its 5G rollout, the achievement builds on Ooredoo’s continual efforts to improve user experience, drive innovation and position Oman as a technologically advanced society.

Dr. Ahmed Abdullah Al Abri, Chief Technology & Information Officer at Ooredoo, said, “This achievement is a big moment for us as our 5G network continues to take shape. The peak value that 5G technology can offer on a single sector is around 5.7 Gbps and we have managed to achieve 90 percent of it, one of the highest in the region. This ultimately translates to a considerably improved experience for our users and unprecedented development opportunities for the Sultanate.”

As such, some 70 percent of Qatar is now covered by 5G, and with more and more devices being 5G-enabled, according to Ooredoo. “It won’t be long before everyone can experience the incredible power of 5G. We’ve even included 5G as part of the recent revamp of our postpaid plans,” it added.

Among Ooredoo Oman 5G plans are to construct and install around 2,000 5G stations over the next five years, with the potential to benefit everything from entertainment and education to scientific research and healthcare.

We are the pioneers of the commercial 5G network since 2018, the telco highlighted, and we’re working hard to give you access to our lightning speed network anywhere in the world.

As part of the telco ambitious roadmap to continue to build on its promise to take its customers’ internet experience to a new level, Ooredoo Oman 5G home Internet is considered to be a great value for home access, mobile, and business plans, which are currently available now.

Users can benefit from improved network coverage, stability with almost zero delay, as well as incredible download speeds.

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Jio Platforms, Qualcomm to manufacture critical 5G equipment

Karim Husami

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critical 5G equipment

Reliance Industries Limited said that its Jio Platforms has collaborated with U.S.-based chipmaker Qualcomm technologies for local manufacturing of “critical equipment” to catalyze the 5G ecosystem in India.

Both companies previously partnered to develop “open and interoperable” interface compliant architecture based 5G solutions with a virtualized RAN and had last year achieved over a 1 Gbps milestone on the Jio 5GNR solution using the chipmaker’s 5G RAN Platforms.

Interestingly, Qualcomm has recently joined hands with Jio’s archrival Bharti Airtel for the telco’s 5G roll out in India. Under the partnership, Airtel will leverage Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platforms to rollout virtualized and Open-RAN 5G networks in India.

In addition, Jio has already developed an end-to-end 5G stack, including 5G radio and core network solutions. RIL revealed that the telco has already completed testing of its 5G radio and core solution, which will now enable a self-sufficient and cost-effective rollout.

“India is at the forefront of the global digital revolution. Jio is accelerating the rollout of digital platforms and indigenously developed next-generation 5G stack, making it affordable and available everywhere,” RIL said in its annual report, adding that the telecom operator’s radio frequency capacity and coverage for 5G networks is already underway based on 4G data traffic profile.

As such, Qualcomm also invested $97 million in Jio Platforms last year.

Reliance Jio is currently preparing for 5G field trials having received trial spectrum from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The telco will test its own 5G technology but will also work with its 4G partner Samsung along with Ericsson and Nokia.

RIL also revealed that Jio Platforms is also working with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on standardizing 5G device configurations.

“With 5G technology, Indian subscribers will experience the benefits of higher data rates, low latency communications and enhanced digital experiences across a wide array of connected devices, from 5G-enabled smartphones, enterprise laptops and AR/VR products to vertical IoT solutions,” RIL said.

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