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Batelco and Ericsson joins force for 5G tech innovations in Bahrain

The collaboration will explore a range of 5G technologies, including cloud-native 5G Core and NB-IoT for smart city development.

[Source photo: Shutterstock | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Bahrain’s digital economy vision is steering the kingdom toward a more innovative future, with 5G dominating the landscape and changing the country irreversibly. Telecom provider Batelco and global 5G provider Ericsson will collaborate on next-gen 5G technologies and innovations in line with Bahrain’s digital economy vision.

This announcement is part of the country’s efforts to enhance its network capabilities and support development programs for consumers and enterprises. Of late, the GCC countries have made adopting 5G technology a priority as part of their larger effort to provide better public services and economic diversification through technology advancement.

This collaboration will involve developments on Voice over New Radio (NR) and an advanced charging system that will enhance Batelco’s real-time convergent charging and enable the introduction of new smart and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) products. It will also include cloud-native 5G Core and 5G Standalone (SA) solutions that helped Batelco and Ericsson complete the kingdom’s first 5G SA data call.

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) will also be a key area of focus for Batelco and Ericsson as they enable extended coverage and longer battery lives for ultra-low complexity devices. Their exploration of NB-IoT will propel smart city visions with smart metering, air quality monitoring, and building management.

“Presently, 5G in Bahrain is at the cusp of unlocking a wide range of opportunities in line with Bahrain’s digital economy goals. In addition to the strong coverage that 5G from Ericsson provides, this MoU aims to explore ways to implement 5G technologies and reap the advanced benefits for different industries in Bahrain by providing examples of innovative use cases. By providing technical support to major industries in the kingdom, we look forward to contributing to the further prosperity of these industries,” said Mikkel Vinter, CEO of Batelco, in a statement.

Through this collaboration, Batelco can strengthen its enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) capabilities and meet the rapid growth in data traffic with automation and emerging augmented reality/virtual reality applications in the country. It will also aid Batelco in offering immersive media and cloud gaming experiences. The partnership is also set to lay the foundation for a 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) introduction. Its higher bandwidth, higher data rates, and extended range capabilities offer great potential for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), gaming, and industrial applications.

“We look forward to working with Batelco and exploring 5G technologies that can unlock various growth opportunities for digital development. We are certain our collaboration will support Batelco in discovering new business models and creating new and innovative offerings in the kingdom,” Wojciech Bajda, Vice President and Head of Gulf Council Countries at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said in a statement. 

With Ericsson’s 5G portfolio placing energy efficiency at the center stage, the collaboration will also work towards reducing network power consumption and developing solutions for smart and sustainable 5G networks.

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