Dubai to take centre stage with live demonstrations and use cases in 5G

All eyes will be on Dubai next week as the city gears up to demonstrate and showcase a wide range of use in 5G cellular technology, artificial intelligence and future mobility, never happened before on a global scale.

The 39th edition of Gitex Technology Week will open doors on Sunday at Dubai World Trade (DWTC) as global and prominent names including China Mobile, du, Etisalat, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and STC in what will represent a dazzling glimpse into the wireless and interconnected future that will transform Middle East businesses.

UAE is the first Arab country and fourth globally to launch 5G services.

According to Ookla Speedtest, UAE is ranked fourth globally in 5G speed after the US, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

DWTC is holding a ‘5G Countdown' conference to focus on transition to and life-changing potential, including names such as Osman Sultan, CEO of du; Fadi Pharaon, Senior Vice-President and Head of Market Area, Middle East and Africa, Ericsson, who will home in on meeting operator demands; and Dr Mohamed Madkour, vice-president for Global Wireless Networks Marketing and Solutions at Huawei, who will discuss how to create the future of manufacturing through 5G, IoT and AI.

Driving the digital future

Apart from showcasing the emerging technologies, the 1.4 million square foot venue will welcome over 4,800 exhibitors from over 140 countries, and host 290 hours of content over five days, while Gitex Future Stars will feature over 750 international startups and corporate accelerators and more than 1,500 investors and corporate buyers.

Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice-President for communications at Etisalat, said that the telecom operator is always keen to bring the latest technologies and solutions to the event.

“We aim to drive the digital future and bring solutions for different sectors. We are bringing a lot of 5G solutions such as transportation, health care, aviation, real estate and retail for the first time to the event,” he said.

According to Ericsson's Middle East and Africa Mobility Report, 30 million 5G mobile subscriptions are expected in the region by 2024.

“Our focus at the event will be on 5G and AI. We will be demonstrating use cases and solutions that are possible with 5G. We have invested over $1.4b globally into 5G product development in 2017 and 2018. We will showcase what solutions and enablement are available for enterprises from an AI point of view,” Hani Sobih ELKukhun, Vice-President for Strategy at Huawei Middle East, said.

Wojciech Bajda, Vice-President for Middle East and Africa, and Head of Gulf Council Countries at Ericsson, said that 5G promises a lot of economic and social values.

New entrants

Companies making their debuts this year include China Mobile, Ericsson, Honeywell, Nokia, Schneider Electric and Siemens, who will unpack developments around the world's most transformative and emerging technologies.

Franco Atassi, Head of Smart Infrastructure at Siemens Middle East, said that the company will demonstrate how cities and industries can benefit from digital transformation.

“We will be showcasing MindSphere, its platform for open and cloud-based IoT operating system for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.

For Expo 2020, MindSphere will be guarding the whole expo and connect all the devices into one platform. The entire commercial platform will be done by Siemens.

“We can abstract big data and turn that into small and smart data. So, people can visualise it, analyse it and make smarter decisions,” he said.

Government entities field strong presence

Apart from enterprises, government entities are also fielding a strong presence at the event.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE is participating as part of the UAE mGovernment, which hosts 18 federal government entities, displaying their major achievements in the field of modern technologies and harnessing them in facilitating the provision of government services, achieving customer happiness, and promoting the one government principle and excellent technology services.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director-General, said that TRA is keen to activate all channels of communication with its strategic partners and the public, to exchange ideas and views and develop services provided by TRA in line with the aspirations of the UAE society in all its segments.

“Our participation will be a vision of the future, through which we foresee the technologies that will impact our lives and lives of generations to come. This is in line with TRA's role in monitoring the digital transformation at the federal government level, as well as its vision to achieve the UAE global leading position in the ICT sector,” he said.

The Government of Abu Dhabi is fielding 32 key government and academic entities to accelerate Abu Dhabi's digital transformation while the Sharjah Department of e-Government is fielding 33 departments to support digital transformation and develop processes and systems across entities in the emirate.

More than 100 Saudi organisations, including government entities, private companies and startups, are also participating.

Startups battle for top spot

Gitex Future Stars will give startups the chance to pitch their ideas against one another across a packed agenda of competitions. The Gitex Future Stars Supernova Challenge will be spread across 11 categories, including the NXG category, awarding the latest innovation from a Gen Z startup.

The Supernova Champion will take home $100,000, with each sub-category featuring a $10,000 prize. There will also be innovation competitions from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in partnership with Accenture and Department of Health Abu Dhabi.

After a pre-selection process in Paris, London, Milan and Moscow to find the most innovative tech ventures, Chalhoub Group's The Greenhouse retail tech startup challenge will see startups compete to win the title of the best creative economy startup.

The Government of Abu Dhabi is making its mark at the event with the Emirate's hottest innovation prospects, including Hub71, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Start AD, Krypto Labs, Department of Health Abu Dhabi, all aiming to put Abu Dhabi on the map as the innovation hub of the future.

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