Governments and service providers in the Middle East are making multi-billion dollar capital investments in ultra-fast 5G networks and cloud solutions, as the region gears up for mega events in the next five years.
With Expo 2020 Dubai and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar in the horizon, the region is facing millions of people using SMS, photos, videos, and social media on smartphones and mobile devices.
Delivering up to 10 times the speed limits of existing 4G networks, 5G will provide the network to support innovations such as mobile apps for ultra-high definition instant replays, 3D augmented and virtual reality experiences, and widespread digital payments on mobile devices.
According to a recent report by consultancy Deloitte, Middle East mobile operators are expected to invest USD 50 billion in network infrastructure from 2017-2021, with particular focus on 5G networks.
“We’re entering the era of the Digital Fan and Digital Visitor, who want to be in the centre of the action, and share real-time experiences. Imagine visiting countries with virtual reality glasses, or having holographic simulcast sports matches in global stadiums. With 5G-based ICT infrastructure and visionary digital transformation agendas, the Middle East is ideally positioned to deliver innovative mega-events for millions of people,” comments Jean-Pierre Brulard, senior vice president and general manager – VMware Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
VMware is currently working with service providers and over-the-top players to deliver 5G with network function virtualisation to some of the world’s largest sporting events.
“For Middle East mega-events, public-private partnerships are vital for combining government digital transformation and Future Cities visions with private sector technology expertise. The 2020 Tokyo games will be a springboard for VMware’s support for Middle East mega-events to deliver new business models, innovative athlete, fan, and media experiences, and world-class security for millions of people,” said Ahmed Auda, managing director – Middle East and North Africa, VMware.