The November 2016 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report continues to forecast IoT connections, presenting our findings on a time-to-content study for popular websites, the increased use of live video streaming, as well as a special focus on IoT and its transformational potential.
Arabia.technology speaks to Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and East Africa to highlight the growth in the Middle East and North East Africa region which has
slowed in comparison to previous years, with a special focus on Lebanon
Arabia.technology: Why is our region witnessing a higher GDP growth rate in comparison to the world average?
Rafiah Ibrahim: Growth in the region has slowed in comparison to previous years. This is due to a number of factors, including the sharp decline in oil prices and political tensions in several countries, as well as the continuous devaluations of several local currencies against the US dollar. However, the region is still expected to have a higher GDP growth rate than the world average; a trend that will be driven by its young and growing population.
Arabia.technology: What does Lebanon need to become advanced noting that Consumerlab report has shown an impressive internet use among Lebanese comparing to other countries?
RI: The report highlights that Lebanese consumers are active sharers and social participants on the internet, and their consumption behaviors are being shaped by the internet and mobile apps. Mobile broadband ownership in Lebanon is also higher than the global average. Consumers in Lebanon are gradually adopting a networked lifestyle, with higher mobile broadband connectivity and smartphone ownership compared to global levels. Lebanese tend to consume internet on social media applications (Facebook, WhatsApp…) and they are among other countries which are on the road to 5 G and IoT. By 2022, the region is expected to have around 20 million 5G subscribers with the first 5G deployments anticipated to be in the GCC countries, Turkey and Lebanon
Arabia.technology: Does Ericsson consider special occasions taking place in our region as a motivator for 5 G subscribers and Internet of Things?
RI: Events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will create new opportunities and accelerate 5G introduction in the region. By 2022, the region is expected to have around 20 million 5G subscribers with the first 5G deployments anticipated to be in the GCC countries, Turkey and Lebanon.
Arabia.technology: Where does Lebanon stand in terms of Mobile and Data traffic, is Lebanon within an advanced stage?
RI: According to Mobility Report, Lebanon scored 70% for Monthly Wi-Fi average over total traffic for Android users who use both fixed and mobile connections; this is a positive phenomenon which shows how active the Lebanese are while using the internet.