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Africa, ME regions 5G userbase to hit 10.4 million in 2021



Africa and the Middle East (AME) telcos plan to extend their user base by welcoming 7.58 million subscribers in 2021 by the amplifying enrolment of the fifth generation of mobile network (5G), according to GlobalData study.

The study determined that expansion in 5G subscription rates will be synchronized with telecom operators, as the industry is implementing the required measures to escalate 5G networks, with recent launches spreading across the region, such as Iran and Kenya.

According to the data analysis company, AME’s 5G subscriber base will outstretch to reach 10.4 million users by the end of the current year, with the overwhelming mass of users settling in the Gulf region, Israel, and South Africa, with Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE seizing the top three ranks in terms of percentages of 5G mobile subscribers in 2021.

It is worth mentioning that the data covered is exclusively restricted to the market covered by GlobalData.

“5G activity in AME is predominantly centered around the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with operators in countries like Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia have launched their 5G networks in 2019. These countries have some of the highest purchasing power parity (PPP)- Adjusted GDP per capita and unique mobile user penetration in the region, supporting the investment in launching and expanding 5G networks as well as 5G adoption,” Telecoms Market Data & Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, Madison Galati said in a statement.

“With the advancements of 5G network rollouts, telecom operators are adopting strategies to draw 5G subscribers with data-centric 5G plans and added value services. For example, in Israel, three MNOs – Partner, Pelephone, and Hot Mobile – offer 5G postpaid plans with 1,000 GB of data. In addition, in Qatar, both MNOs offer 5G plans with unlimited data with added services such as cyber security solutions and SVoD subscriptions. Outside of the GCC countries, operators such as Turk Telekom are conducting 5G trials, and governments are outlining 5G rollout plans,” Galati added.

The state of 5G in the Middle East will expand on a national 5G network level, while countries in the region might not have the privilege of experiencing 5G enrollment anytime soon due to their less developed economies, resulting in a lesser IoT exposure.

While the UAE and Israel are not included in this equation, various countries’ suffering from political and economic conflicts, such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen will most likely continue to adopt 3G and 4G as their go-to networks while struggling to secure and maintain investments to elevate their mobile network’s capacity.   

Daryn is a technical writer with thorough history and experience in both academic and digital writing fields.


Telstra deploys Ericsson Private 5G for AgriFood Connect



Telstra and Ericsson announced their first deployment of Ericsson Private 5G, an on-premises devoted 5G network for an enterprise that uses a single-server 5G dual-mode core.   

The Australian not-for-profit organization, Telstra Enterprise customer AgriFood Connect, will receive this technology.  

Ericsson said in a press release that “within this product, Telstra and AgriFood Connect have successfully deployed industrial IoT capabilities over 5G standalone that can support a variety of business requirements such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery. These sorts of capabilities will enable features such as predictive maintenance alerts that will drive cost savings against unplanned downtime and repairs.”  

Telstra Network and Infrastructure executive Iskra Nikolova noted that “the combination of a dedicated network in partnership with Telstra’s existing Network capabilities can facilitate the implementation of a whole variety of new and emerging technologies.”  

“Challenging locations in regional Australia, where there is comparatively limited backhaul capacity, will greatly benefit from this technology. For example, a remote farming or a manufacturing business could embrace the latest advancements in video analytics and IoT connectivity, almost regardless of their location, with the data processed on-site,” he added.  

In addition, the private 5G product allowed AgriFood Connect to make use of industrial IoT capabilities over 5G Standalone, such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery.  

“This world’s first deployment in partnership with Telstra represents an important step towards automation and control through intelligent 5G connectivity,” said Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson, Australia, and New Zealand.  

“The Ericsson Private 5G platform will enable emerging industrial use cases across multiple verticals such as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), AI, Automation, drone technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and many more innovative 5G use cases made available through Ericsson’s robust Industry 4.0 partner ecosystem.”  

Therefore, the 5G SA capability offered by Ericsson Private 5G product, tied with Telstra’s advanced network capabilities, delivers an industrial wireless connectivity platform for the enterprise that can provide low latency, enhanced resiliency, and the capacity to meet even the most demanding business operation requirements.  

It is worth mentioning that Telstra and Ericsson recently declared a new 5G upload speed milestone, achieving an upload peak rate of 986 Mbps in a live 5G demo at the carrier’s 5G Innovation Centre in Queensland, Australia.  

The presentation also used Ericsson’s New Radio-Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) and carrier aggregation software features together and a smartphone form-factor test device powered by Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System. 

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Ericsson profit beats as more countries roll out 5G



Sweden’s Ericsson on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter core earnings above market estimates, helped by higher sales of telecom gear as more countries roll out 5G networks offsetting a loss of market share in mainland China.

The company’s quarterly adjusted operating earnings rose to 11.9 billion Swedish crowns ($1.28 billion) from 11 billion a year ago, beating the mean forecast of 10.30 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Total revenue rose 2% to 71.3 billion crowns, beating estimates of 68.33 billion crowns. Sales in mainland China declined by 1.8 billion crowns, meaning that excluding mainland China organic sales growth was 5%.

A resurgent Nokia increasing competition in several markets and the loss of telecom contracts in China following a ban of Huawei by the Swedish government had been dragging down Ericsson’s revenue.

The proportion of revenue Ericsson earns from China has dropped to around 3%, the company has previously said, from 10-11% before the domestic Swedish ban on Huawei.

Sales at Ericsson’s networks unit grew by 3% and gross margin rose to 46.4% from 43.5%.

In an effort to broaden its 5G portfolio Ericsson has spent more than $7 billion to buy two companies – cloud communications firm Vonage and wireless network gear maker Cradlepoint.

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U.S. FAA clears 45% of commercial plane fleet after 5G deployed



The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Sunday it had cleared an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. commercial airplane fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many airports where 5G C-band will be deployed starting Wednesday.

The FAA has warned that potential interference could affect sensitive airplane instruments such as altimeters and make an impact on low-visibility operations.

U.S. passenger and cargo airlines have been sounding the alarm to senior government officials that the issue is far from resolved and could severely impact flights and the supply chain.

“Even with the approvals granted by the FAA today, U.S. airlines will not be able to operate the vast majority of passenger and cargo flights due to the FAA’s 5G-related flight restrictions unless action is taken prior to the planned Jan. 19 rollout,” said Airlines for America, a trade group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Fedex and other carriers.

The FAA approved two radio altimeter models used in many Boeing and Airbus planes, including some Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A350 models. The announcement came just days before AT&T and Verizon launch new 5G service on Wednesday. The FAA said it expects to issue more approvals in the coming days.

The FAA said the aircraft and altimeter approvals open “runways at as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly affected by 5G C-band interference.” But the agency warned that “even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still be affected.”

Reuters reviewed the 36-page list of the runways covered by the approvals that has not yet been made public – and it does not include many larger U.S. airports.

The FAA told Boeing in a letter Sunday reviewed by Reuters that it was granting approvals for specific runways and planes with certain altimeters “because the susceptibility to interference from 5G C-band emissions has been minimized.”

AT&T and Verizon, which won nearly all of the C-Band spectrum in an $80 billion auction last year, on Jan. 3 agreed to buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce interference risks and take other steps to reduce potential interference for six months. They also agreed to delay deployment for two weeks, averting an aviation safety standoff.

The FAA on Thursday issued nearly 1,500 notices detailing the extent of potential impact of 5G services.

“Passengers should check with their airlines if weather is forecast at a destination where 5G interference is possible,” the FAA said Sunday.

On Jan. 7, the FAA disclosed the 50 U.S. airports that will have 5G buffer zones, including in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami.

But airlines warn those buffer zones may not be enough to prevent flight disruptions at those airports.

On Thursday, Airports Council International – North America urged a delay 5G implementation to avoid widespread disruption across the U.S air transportation system.

On Friday, the FAA said it would require Boeing 787 operators to take additional precautions when landing on some wet or snowy runways.


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