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Batelco, Bahrain's leading digital solutions provider, and Ericsson, a world leading telecoms technology provider have joined forces to successfully conduct the first-ever 5G trial in Bahrain at Batelco's Headquarters in Hamala, as part of the Batelco and Ericsson 5G Forum.

The Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications H.E. Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Batelco Chairman Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, EGovernment Authority CEO Mohammed Al Qaed, members of Batelco's Board of Directors and executive management and officials from Batelco and Ericsson attended the prestigious event.

The trial aims to drive innovation for IoT applications on 5G mobile network technology based on the market requirements in Bahrain. The trial demonstrated 5G capabilities in a real world environment and over a live network, including tests on speed, latency and beam steering, reaching a record speed of 25 Gbps.

The 5G trial system also demonstrated a vast improvement on performance in comparison to current 4G networks. It was conducted in line with Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030, which was launched by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to provide a clear direction for the continued development of the Kingdom's economy and, at its heart, is a shared goal of building a better life for every Bahraini.

Batelco Bahrain CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi said: "The trial was a demonstration of our commitment to ensure that we are offering the very best telecommunications services and digital solutions, as well as providing a digital backbone for the Kingdom of Bahrain as it moves to life in the Networked Society of the future."

During the Forum, a variety of discussions took place enabling Ericsson to present the latest technology trends, and for Batelco management to experience these technologies through demos, which addressed 5G, IOT, key industry use cases, the cloud and digital transformation, amongst others.

Ericsson Market Area Middle East and Africa President, Rafiah Ibrahim said: "Today's successful trial prepares Batelco's network for a 5G future. It is another demonstration of our long standing partnership market with significant milestones to date. I am confident that we will continue to collaborate with our valued customers to deliver high quality end-to-end network performance in Bahrain and further demonstrate our commitment to Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030."

According to Ericsson's 5G Business Potential Report, 5G has the potential to drive USD 600 million in 5G opportunities for 5G players in Bahrain. For consumers, it will bring new applications like augmented reality and 4K video streaming, whereas industries will likely benefit from innovative IoT applications like smart transport and remote healthcare.

During Gitex 2016 in Dubai, Batelco and Ericsson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at driving innovation and early IoT applications on 5G mobile network technology based on the market requirements in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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