By: Mahmud Awad, Chief Business Officer, Vodafone Qatar
The tech industry is buzzing with excitement as experts from around the globe are praising the potential benefits of 5G and promising to change people’s lives with super-fast and reliable wireless mobile networks. And while 4G provided us with incredible speed, 5G is expected to go beyond that and further accelerate the widespread adoption and roll out of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, supporting the infrastructure needed to carry large amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world.
In Qatar, the economic development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) stresses the importance of creating a competitive and diversified economy capable of securing a high standard of living for all the people of Qatar. One of the key strategies that the country is implementing to achieve this, is creating a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem where small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can thrive and prosper.
It is worth noting that the digital age has completely redefined business, allowing companies to interact directly with their consumers on social media and promote themselves online without investing large sums of money. Additionally, it paved the way for the rise of the app economy, where globally it is expected to be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, according to a report from app analytics firm App Annie.
With Qatar scoring top ranks in internet penetration around the world, it comes as no surprise that some of the most popular SME and start up ideas in the country are app or online based. From food ordering apps, to healthcare apps that help you locate the best specialists in the country, it is an industry that has tremendous potential.
Innovations such as 5G are expected to unlock this potential by increasing efficiencies, improving productivity and decreasing costs.
Firstly, faster and more reliable internet speeds will offer employees more flexibility, allowing people to work remotely and just as productively “on the go”. This will decrease the need for large office spaces which will minimize overhead costs for rising entrepreneurs. Secondly, faster download and data transfer speeds will enable businesses to process customer queries faster, delivering better and more consistent experiences. Thirdly, 5G will improve consistency and increase the number of things that can be connected to a network, thus enabling IoT devices to be properly supported. The possibilities to leverage this are endless, particularly for creative industries such as mobile gaming where augmented and virtual realities are core to blurring the lines of the digital and real world.
Supporting the growth and success of SMEs is a major priority for Vodafone Qatar. Earlier this year we announced the switching on of our first 5G network, which builds on our extensive investment and commitment to world-class infrastructure in the country. Last month, we connected our first trial enterprise customer- Gulf Bridge International (GBI) -to our 5G network in Qatar Science and Technology Park. It is the first step in our plans to accelerate Qatar’s progress towards becoming one of the most connected and technologically advanced countries in the world.
As the country progresses towards the realization of Qatar’s 2030 vision, leveraging the power of technology will be vital in achieving the country’s ambition. Vodafone Qatar plans to be there every step of the way and make this exciting future a reality.