Technological innovation is crucial to the future of society and driving economic growth. Key technologies such as AI, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, and 5G are enabling new business and service growth across multiple industries. The growing digital economies are unleashing an unparalleled era of innovation and significant progress for mankind.
5G is particularly important as it enables new and smarter ways of working and is the backbone for future developments in all fields. It is paving the way for new horizons of speed, low latency, high reliability, and capacity. The early 5G networks launched by telecom operators in 2019 were among the most successful, advanced services and applications and lowest cost models globally.
The UAE and other GCC countries were at the forefront globally in terms of 5G implementation. The success of the UAE and other regional countries in 5G launch and implementation, in addition to the utilization of other advanced technologies, is due to their clear technology neutrality policy. This policy opens the way for contributions from multiple vendors to the national economy.
China’s 5G contribution, represented by companies like Huawei, is essential for countries striving to build their digital economies and achieve new milestones in their socio-economic journey. According to a PwC study on the economic impact of 5G-enabled use cases across industries, the technology will contribute $350 billion to global GDP in the next two years, increasing to $1.3 trillion by 2030.
This forecast is driven by new use cases and improvements in existing applications that 5G uniquely brings compared to other technologies and how these improvements will impact productivity. China is expected to add $220 billion to its GDP from 5G by 2030.
Research and development are critical in the world of technological innovations, not the innovation’s nationality. China-headquartered Huawei’s audited annual report reveals that the company invested about $23.22billion in R&D in 2022 alone.
We have seen firsthand how Huawei’s ongoing innovation in ICT standards over the past 20 years has led to many high-value technologies and patent portfolios in domains like 5G. Many countries in the Middle East are planning to launch 5G and take advantage of its limitless benefits.
Germany, UAE, KSA, Qatar, Malaysia, and many other countries should be leading examples to follow when it comes to technology neutrality and a multi-vendor policy.
It is the regulator’s responsibility to encourage operators to open up the market to all qualified vendors and inspire fair competition that reflects the country’s fair business environment, instigating more global companies to invest in that market.
Acquisition of technological innovations should be the right of all and should not be influenced by geopolitics or the vendor’s identity.
Prof. Wathiq Mansoor is an esteemed professor at the University of Dubai with extensive academic leadership experience in renowned universities worldwide.