5G Technology in Saudi Arabia: Paving the Way for 6G:
Over the years, Saudi Arabia has built a solid reputation as one of the foremost technology players in the Middle East and globally. The Kingdom has been intentional about creating a conducive environment for emerging technologies to thrive. Currently, high-end technologies like artificial intelligence and the metaverse have gained a firm footing in the country. Many of these technologies have been powered by the increasing presence of 5G in Saudi Arabia.
Here, we will discuss the adoption of 5G technology in Saudi Arabia and the country’s prospects with 6G.
5G and 6G: A New Generation of Mobile Networks
Wireless technology has provided a connection pathway for individuals and businesses. However, 5G and 6G offer significantly better value offerings. More specifically, 5G’s value offerings include much higher speed, lower latency, and immense capacity. At peak times, 5G technology can support a network speed as high as 20 gigabytes per second.
6G is set to introduce an even more significant improvement to mobile networking. 6G will provide users with much lower response times and higher capacity. The technology will likely be available to consumers by 2030. However, since the introduction of 5G technology, specific countries have established their economies as strong 5G players. One such country is Saudi Arabia.
5G Penetration in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the nations worldwide with the most extensive 5G penetration. The Kingdom currently has a 5G availability rate of 28.2 per cent, and this rate has continued to multiply. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia conducted the world’s first test of 5G transmitters at a distance of 14 kilometers above the land. One of Saudi Arabia’s major mobile network providers, Zain, also established the country’s first standalone 5G network. This 5G rollout was expected to provide broader support to the kingdom’s Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence devices.
A partnership of Saudi Telecom Company, Nokia, and MediaTek also recently announced that they had successfully established a Component Carrier Aggregation technology that will improve the 5G experience provided by Saudi Arabian mobile operators. This marked the first aggregation technology successfully installed in the Middle East and North Africa. Impressively, Saudi Arabia also has one of the highest performances on 5G video experiences in the Middle Eastern region. In the latest OpenSignal report, the country had a video experience performance of 71.5 points.
Expectations for 6G Integration
Given Saudi Arabia’s immense success with 5G penetration, the country has already initiated plans for 6G penetration. In July 2022, Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with the USA. Under the MoU, Saudi Arabia committed to investing in US-built 6G networks. While 6G’s introduction will only take place years from now, the MoU represents a significant move at establishing Saudi Arabia as a world power in 6G.
Saudi Arabia’s dominant presence in the 5G ecosystem has many benefits. The country’s 5G availability has helped drive the development of its digital economy. Looking into the future, it will likely be instrumental in Saudi Arabia’s achievement of its Vision 2030.
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