By Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East

Over 2,000 of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry’s most influential players gathered in London for Huawei’s 9th annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF). The event was a platform to showcase the rapid strides 5G has made in the past year: in addition to the outfield demonstration of the largest 5G commercial demo site in Europe, 10 operators and 36 vertical industry partners jointly displayed their industry-leading technologies. Representatives from the telecommunications sector, vertical industries and standards organizations witnessed firsthand innovative 5G applications across fields from the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), connected vehicles (V2X), and more.

Read more: 5G is now: Leading industry development in 2018

The RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC) held its first lunch in Dubai for its members in the United Arab Emirates. The event, which brought together senior officials from Etisalat, CMC, and Expresso Telecom Group among others, aimed at generating feedback for the RIPE NCC’s staff and identifying opportunities for local and regional cooperation to support IPv6 deployment. The meeting was part of the RIPE NCC’s strategy of closer engagement with its members in the Middle East. 

Read more: The RIPE NCC brings its members in UAE together

By Femi Oshiga, vice president of Service Providers in the Middle East and Africa, CommScope

My colleagues and I recently returned from one of the region’s largest technology events attended by more than 100,000 guests from 100-plus countries. They had the chance to see Sir Tim Berners Lee, the British engineer and scientist who is best known as the inventor of the world wide web, announce a new start up meant to decentralize the internet and restore power to the people in regard to their personal data. I personally find it energizing to know the world’s greatest living genius continues to turn the wheels of innovation 28 years after launching the modern internet.

Read more: Why humans should be at the heart of innovation

By Kamal Ballout, head of TEPS MEA & Global Energy Segment, Nokia

In comparison to the Industrial Revolution, the Information Revolution has been disappointing from a productivity perspective. But all of that is set to change with automation trends such as smart cities and Industry 4.0. The digitally driven automation of our infrastructure will have very productive results in many areas of life, including manufacturing, energy, transportation and many more. IoT married with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive/machine learning and machine-to-machine communications will finally enable us to harvest the fruits of our digital data for real-world results. Many things are coming together to make this possible, but at the center of it all is the network, which is the real driver of this revolution.

Read more: The automation of society and the centrality of networks

Today's connected world is generating huge amounts of data and it is only the beginning. In the near future, technologies that are now at their early adoption and still undergoing development will produce unimaginable amounts of data that will go through the cloud and subsequently the telecommunications infrastructure. Companies will then face challenges mostly related to providing enough bandwidth. Changing the way they handle data is a must.

Read more: Can telecoms providers really handle the ‘data tsunami’?

Everyday, we are drowned even more into the online world. With the fast development of services, the consumer is making more online purchases and accessing more services all through his mobile. For example, purchasing goods or carrying out a bank operation through your bank's mobile application are both very common actions that have never been easier. Undoubtedly, this is considered as a huge step forward for technology; however, it carries various challenges regarding the security of the consumer's digital identity and the privacy of our personal data online. One of the biggest challenges is developing systems that allow any person to authenticate his/her online identity.

Read more: Managing digital identity for a better online experience

The RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC) held recently roundtable meeting in Saudi Arabia, hosted by the country’s Communications & Information Technology Commission (CITC). The meeting focused on the current opportunities and challenges across the Middle East in managing Internet resources, including trends, statistics and recent developments in the region.

Read more: RIPE NCC examines internet trends and opportunities with governments in the Middle East

The adoption of artificial intelligence has been rapidly accelerating across the regions that embraced its impact on industries, economies and lives. The Middle East has seen a significant increase in the technology's adoption and parts of the region have already embraced the new digital age. A study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will grow from $37.5 million in 2017 to over $100 million by 2021, representing a growth rate of 32% a year.

Read more: The Middle East embraces artificial intelligence: Strategies and initiatives

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