Industry Thought Leadership

5G for Businesses: Roadmap to Growth and Innovation

March, 2021


Businesses in Oman are expected to excel with 5G’s prospects in improving security, customer experience and operational efficiency

Until recent history, 5G telecom technology remained just a part of digital transformation discussion, as the world awaited its formal arrival. The technology is now being successfully applied in several sectors, shattering general notions that 5G only meant high-speed internet connectivity. Yes, it is fast and dependable, with download and browsing speeds 10 to 20 times faster than 4G. However, there is more to it, especially in the business environment.

Industries across the spectrum that identify and apply the 5G technology are only using the 5G surface. Just like an iceberg, Underneath lies a whole world of endless possibilities and answers that will drive enterprises’ operational and growth capacities.

Several research reports businesses time across industries to invest in 5G deployment is now and give direction for strategic planning to capitalize on this opportunity.

Omantel began the 5G roll out in 2019 with fixed home broadband and introduced it for mobile phones in 2021, becoming Oman’s first network operator. Oman, which has steered its course towards a digitally-driven economy, has already embraced 5G in all prominent sectors, enabled by Omantel, the Sultanate’s leading integrated telecom service provider.

Businesses in Oman are optimistic about 5G’s prospects in improving security, customer experience, and operational efficiency. For example, blockchain is being piloted in the logistics sector as supply chains become complex. Oman’s airports and seaports are at the forefront of embracing digital dependence through 5G, robotics, drone and other technologies, with technical support from Omantel, which plays an empowering and leading national role in this direction continued reinvention, rethinking and investment for every sector.

Businesses see 5G not just as a technologybut as a roadmap to growth. Faster speeds, lower latency, and improved device capacity will mobilize automated and intelligent technologies that will install better business outcomes that were not possible earlier. The flexibility that 5G offers by the interlinking workforce, enterprise applications with cloud and mobiles, enables vertical-specific and highly responsive business organization.

Omantel has piloted two major 5G projects in Oman’s transport, and logistics sector as the Sultanate is a vital maritime hub with highly modern ports and logistics infrastructure. Building upon its operational efficiency hence becomes increasingly crucial. These intelligent solutions will diversify and showcase the use of 5G infrastructure beyond network speed and efficiency andbring more accountability and streamlining to port operations.

In collaboration with Asyad Group, Omantel launched 5G Proof of Concept trials to provide video surveillance ‘video as a service’ and high-speed internet for vessels docking at the dry dock at the Special Economic Zone, Duqm. The Special Economic Zone of Duqm was chosen for the trials because of local and international companies presence which can benefit from such solutions. These trials marked the first use of the 5G technology in providing intelligent video surveillance services and analytics in the Sultanate for enterprise customers.

Omantel’s second enterprise 5G client is Hutchison Ports Sohar. Under a tri-party Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving Huawei, three POCs aim to improve port efficiency, accuracy, time management, and security.

By leveraging the latest “AI technology” riding on Omantel’s 5G infrastructure, Hutchison Ports Sohar will stand to, among other advantages, enhance surveillance efficiency of the port’s CCTV cameras and enable real-time action.

The Smart Surveillance with “AI” will allow real-time surveillance of the port’s loading and unloading transport area, monitor the sea tide, enhance ship container video surveillance, make “AI-based” intelligent video analysis, allow for “AI-enabled” unmanned detection and generate an automatic alarm in real-time. Other benefits include leveraging “AI for HSE” compliance and meeting future cost optimization goals. These technologies can be deployed in different port operation management scenarios, crane management, etc.

The two other POCs will enhance handheld devices (Push to talk) for critical communications and pagers over the 5G network for real-time location monitoring.

Maintaining its position as the Sultanate’s trusted ICT and digitization partner, Omantel will use these POCs as a springboard to further build and diversify its 5G capacities. The MoU will see Omantel build a dedicated 5G pipeline for its Enterprise customers, and with the guaranteed success of the POCs, create a lasting customer relationship based on its superior ICT infrastructure and efficient service delivery.

5G is one of the most enabling technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) that will lead to a breakthrough in many sectors, including education, health, transportation, and entertainment. Besides, it is a critical component in future smart city projects. While the education, healthcare, logistics, and oil & gas industries are just starting to embrace the possibilities.It is not tough to imagine the volume of comprehensive pan-sectoral (mining, banking, manufacturing, etc.) growth once 5G arrives, in the true sense of the word.