The 5G market seems to be in a stronger position as we enter the second half of 2022. In the Middle East alone, 5G network rollouts and technology advancements have been underway to provide a seamless experience for customers.
As per CCS Insight, the transition of mobile subscribers to 5G networks is set to make good progress, with 5G connections to nearly double by end of 2022 to 1.2 billion connections. This is in line with a GSA report which stated that 5G subscriptions grew by 19.1% in the fourth quarter of 2021, reaching nearly 521 million globally — representing 5.1% of the entire global mobile market.
By 2026, 4 billion 5G mobile broadband connections are anticipated to be established, and by 2023, the LTE market is forecasted to decline slowly, as customers migrate to 5G.
In the first half of 2022, Middle East-based CSPs have continued their efforts on 5G market innovation. Some examples include Zain KSA announcing the rollout of the Kingdom’s first 5G standalone (SA) network in February; Nokia and Etisalat UAE partnering to deploy 5G private wireless networks for enterprises in March; and stc enabling Bahrain's first 5G standalone network in May.
Accordingly, a GSMA report found that GCC Arab States are slightly ahead of the global average by 2025, with over 16% adoption in 5G connections.
In parallel, fixed wireless access (FWA) is one of the thriving areas expected to gain a boost as more operators worldwide are considering 5G to provide high-speed home broadband.