Batelco, Ericsson conduct first 5G trial in Bahrain

For consumers, the implementation of 5G will bring new applications like augmented reality and 4K video streaming

Bahraini telecom operator Batelco has conducted the country’s first-ever 5G trial in partnership with telecoms technology provider Ericsson.

The trial took place at Batelco’s headquarters in Hamala and “aims to drive innovation for IoT applications on 5G mobile network technology based on the market requirements in Bahrain”, a statement said.

The trial tested 5G capabilities in a real world environment and over a live network, including tests on speed, latency and beam steering, reaching a speed of 25 Gbps.

The 5G trial system indicated a “vast improvement on performance in comparison to current 4G networks”, the statement said.

Ericsson also partnered with UAE telecoms operator Etisalat to conduct a 5G trial with outdoor mobility in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

The 5G trial system used 800MHz of spectrum in the 15GHz band, showing over 20 times faster performance than what is currently used in 4G networks.

For consumers, the implementation of 5G will bring new applications like augmented reality and 4K video streaming, while industries will likely benefit from IoT applications like smart transport and remote healthcare.

According to a report by Ericsson, 5G has the potential to drive $600m in new opportunities for 5G players in Bahrain. In the UAE, the report forecasts that ICT players who leverage 5G to digitalise industries can capture business worth $6.5bn by 2026.

“We have identified a huge opportunity for telecom operators [globally] who address industry digitalisation, and foresee a revenue potential of $582bn by 2026,” the report said.

“This represents a possibility to add 34 per cent growth in revenues. The report shows that manufacturing and energy/utilities sectors represent the biggest opportunity for revenues created or enhanced by 5G.

“To capture this market potential requires investment in 5G technology, but also business development, go-to-market models and organisational adaptation. To leverage the power of 5G technologies, operators need to rethink their role and what value to deliver, and what business models to use,” Ericsson added in the report.