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Bahrain 5G expansion to help boost GCC economies during Covid, say experts

MANAMA, July 11, 2020

Expansion of Bahrain's 5G network will help boost the kingdom's as well as the regional economies during Covid-19 recovery, said leading experts at the Samena Telecommunications Council Leaders’ summit held recently.
 
Industry leaders and experts from Bahrain and across the world gathered at the summit to review plans for unleashing the potential of 5G networks to boost economies and societies in a post Covid-19 environment. 
 
Held virtually for the first time due to social-distancing requirements, the summit was hosted by Huawei for the seventh consecutive year.
 
This year, the event welcomed Queen Silvia of Sweden, Founder of World Childhood Foundation; Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the ITU; Mats Granryd, Director General GSMA; Isabelle Mauro,
Head of Telecommunications at the World Economic Forum in the US; Mark Spelman, Head of Thought Leadership at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland; Dr Boutheina Guermazi, Director - Digital Development at The World Bank Group in the US; Dr. Sanguchul Lee, Chief Advisor of LG Uplus and LG Group; and Kamarul A. Muhamed, Founder & Group CEO of Aerodyne Group. 
 
Several senior executives from telecommunications service providers, local regulatory authorities, global NGOs, and other ICT industry professionals representing decision makers for different verticals and government entities in countries from across South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe also took part.
 
The Samena summit, which was held under the theme “5G-X: Harnessing 5G Across Industries for Investment Revival,” highlighted how technology and ICT infrastructure play a significant role in the societies and economies. 
 
The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the need to strengthen digital infrastructure to better prepare societies for future crises and to make systems more resilient and sustainable, guaranteeing a better and more effective outcome. 
 
A shift to cloud, IoT, and better integration of AI into the public health response was also spotlighted, in addition to harnessing of other technologies for smart service delivery, which should be a key priority moving forward, said the organisers. 
 
The summit stressed on topics which are more societal in nature than business-focused, but are essential to industry dialogue, they stated. 
 
Attending speakers shed light on the impacts of collaborative efforts when deploying technology in the Middle East region to overcome digital transformation challenges. 
 
The summit also explored how ICT stakeholders could work together with industry verticals to turn their vision into reality at the local and regional level.
 
Participants reviewed 5G ecosystem cooperation in the Middle East, and also discussed how 5G paired with complementary technologies such as cloud, AI, and AI-driven autonomous and BVLOS commercial drone applications, could inspire new vertical industry applications, the organisers said. 
 
Leading Huawei executives - You Qianwen, VP Middle East, and Wang Su, VP of Carrier Network Business Group Marketing led the summit whose key highlights included a dedicated Huawei 5G Ecosystem Conference held for the third consecutive year under the theme “Unleash 5G potential, build a better world”. 
 
It was attended by industry experts including Ahmed Al Sharif, General Manager – Network at STC Kuwait, Cesar Andres Lopez, CEO of Datumcom, and Kamarul A Muhamed, Founder and Group CEO of Aerodyne Group.  
 
With more economies becoming digital today, the Samena summit also explored business resilience strategies in a hyper-connected world. 
 
Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer for Huawei US, was one of the experts leading the discussion on what regulatory frameworks will be needed to help vertical industries as well as governments to leverage cloud environments for future efficiency.
 
Ryan Ding, Executive Director and President of Carrier Network Business Group at Huawei, said: "Despite the unprecedented challenges we are facing, governments, regulators, and operators across the globe have spared no effort to maintain social stability, protecting peoples’ livelihoods and helping the entire society fight against COVID-19."
 
Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, delivering the opening keynote, said: "Although the pandemic has brought uncertainty to our lives, the advantages of 5G infrastructure are increasingly clear."
 
"The outbreak has led to increased demand for ICT solutions specifically in areas like 5G amid a boost in network usage and 5G 2B innovations. Meeting that demand will require new forms of public-private partnerships based on open collaboration, supporting strong industry policies that will enable social value, economic development, and provide enhanced service experiences to consumers across the region, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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