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At this year’s Telecom Review Summit, the world’s largest gathering of VIPs from the ICT industry, a variety of esteemed industry figures discussed one of the greatest buzzwords of 2019: 5G.

The panel, titled ‘The year of 5G deployments: from planning to reality’, consisted of Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO at TELUS; Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Vice President of Global Wireless Marketing and Solutions at Huawei; Aji Ed, CTO at Nokia MEA; Favid Erlich, Consulting Director for B2B and Strategic Marketing at Sofrecom; Femi Oshiga, Vice President of Service Providers for the Middle East and Africa at Commscope and Dr. Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Office- International at Etisalat. It was also moderated by Johannes Hummer, Regional Head of Middle East at Vodafone Partner Markets.

Johannes started off the panel discussion by thanking CEO of Trace Media and Founder of Telecom Review, Mr. Toni Eid, for organizing the summit and providing them with the opportunity to attend and be part of such a great event.

“On this panel, we have got operators, infrastructure providers and consults so it should be quite interesting,” said Johannes.

He kick-started the discussion with a question for each member regarding their 5G journey this year, to which Nokia’s CTO, Aji Ed, stated, “From Nokia’s perspective, I think it has been a fantastic year for 5G. In short, it was both exciting and eventful for us.”

He continued, “We have had a lot of success stories and some of them were indeed game-changing achievements. Today, we have 50 commercial contracts with 5G, with 80 networks which are up and running across all continents. We are also the biggest supplier in the US.”

Aji also added that Nokia’s portfolio is a unique one due to its end-to-end product offerings.

As the discussions emerged between the panelists, Johannes asked them about the potential use cases for 5G to which Sofrecom’s David Erlich stated, “B2B is one of the greatest opportunities for 5G.”

“It is not just about the technology, it is about hitting on the right use case once it comes along,” said Femi Oshiga from Commscope.

Adding to this point, “5G is a pipe. Innovation in use cases is what makes it exciting. This what we are doing at Huawei, everything is innovation-oriented,” said Dr. Mohamed Madkour.

Etisalat’s Dr. Kamal Shehadi said, “5G holds a great promise and a very transformative impact. If operators and regulators do not keep up with developments, they will realize that they will be working for the vendors and the conversation cannot be driven by vendors anymore.”

TELUS’s Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon said, “Before we invest in 5G, is there anything we can do in 4G? This is what matters the most.”

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