Batelco: 5G will be a real game changer for consumers and enterprises alike

CommsMEA caught up with Batelco’s CEO, Mikkel Vinter, to find out how the company intends to build on its early successes as it continues to ramp up its 5G offering
Batelco, 5G, Bahrain, GCC, Networks, SME, ENTERPRISE, Consumer

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How is the launch of next generation mobile networks going to impact upon Bahrain’s business sector?

We were particularly pleased to be the first to announce the commercial launch of 5G network services for our customers in the Kingdom of Bahrain, due to the importance of 5G technology in enabling the growth of the digital economy.

The communication landscape is changing rapidly requiring the latest in digital technology that can meet the current and future requirements of consumers and the enterprise sector. 5G solutions will deliver ultra-high bandwidth and low latency services which have the potential to enhance operational efficiency and user experience for all industries in a transformational way.  Sectors that will see massive changes include healthcare (remote surgery), education (online learning), manufacturing (increased automation), finance (advanced algorithms) and transport (autonomous vehicles). The enhanced solutions delivered by 5G can also improve the performance of online gaming and video conferencing and generally elevate the definition of telecommunications in our community.

Delivering the latest in digital technology to our customers is our top priority and a crucial part of our corporate digital strategy. We are committed to supporting the telecom sector in line with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s vision for the digital economy.

What challenges will you have to overcome to make 5G a success in Bahrain?

The 5G ecosystem is still in development and a couple of challenges need to be addressed to expedite the success of 5G
in Bahrain.

The initial phase of 5G delivered enhanced mobile speeds which will gradually be taken up as the top 2 device manufactures, namely Samsung and Apple, make available 5G devices in Bahrain.

However, the focus is now on the second phase of 5G 2020 onwards where all IoT and machine communication will be ready. This is an important new revenue stream for the industry to make the 5G business case a success. It is important for Bahrain to have close collaboration between telecom operators, the regulator, government, and industry players across all key sectors to identify the use cases for 5G which will support Bahrain’s digital growth.

The key goal is constant connectivity, meaning an ecosystem in which all people and devices can always communicate at high speeds and low latency.

What will be Batelco’s key focus in 2020?

In line with our vision to be a leading provider of innovative digital services and connectivity to empower people, enable businesses and enrich society, we will be focused on two main areas, to strengthen core connectivity business and to continue with the Company’s digital transformation. Batelco was first to deploy 5G in Bahrain and we plan to further increase the areas of coverage, which supports our efforts to provide best in class services and exceptional customer experience for our private and business customers. To take our digital capabilities to the next stage we will be investing in and building up adjacent businesses in Bahrain and the MEA region, focusing on specific clusters as Fintech, B2B solutions, e-government ore-commerce.

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