How 5G is paving the way for startups to empower smart cities in the Middle East

From Dial-up connections to smart cities powered by 5G connections – technological advancements have really come a long way! We know you’re probably wondering what 5G is all about, and how can that help smart cities prosper? 

Basically, the goal of a smart city is to make life easier, more convenient, efficient, and effective by solving city problems like improving transportation and accessibility, social services, and promoting sustainability. 

We can go on and on to list the amazing uses of 5G technology, but we’ll sum it up; the main function is to collect data in real-time which can help create an infrastructure for the city to improve traffic, air and water quality, and health care services (Pretty awesome right?). Can you imagine that by 2025 the IoT trends suggest the number of connected devices worldwide will rise to 75 billion, meaning a large amount of data can be obtained and analyzed to make more informed decisions that will make the residents’ life so much easier!

This concept of “smart cities” may seem very futuristic- like something out of “The Jetsons”, but let’s be realistic with this new direction and technology smart cities in the MENA market alone are expected to hit $2.7 billion by 2022, according to a report released by KPMG. Many cities in the MENA have adopted 5G technology to create smart cities; examples can be found in Dubai, Egypt, and Saudi.

Smart cities that will blow your mind

The Dubai smart city project aims to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve targets in six focus areas: smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance, and smart environment. The project includes over 100 initiatives and plans to transform 1,000 government services into smart services (it’s all about to go d i g i t a l!) 

As part of the 2030 vision, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum ruler of Dubai aims for 25 percent of all transportation to be done by driverless vehicles (yes, you read that right!). Which is why Tesla launched its electric/self-driving cars in Dubai, experts predict that driverless transportation can save the city up to six billion dollars a year. Dubai’s RTA has also announced the transition of all its services to smart apps. 

Startups keep an eye out, they’re coming for you! 

For startups who love to push boundaries and take on challenges, there’s great news, the Global Blockchain Challenge invites startups from across the globe to pitch their latest blockchain innovations which can potentially be implemented in Dubai. 

Also, Startupbootcamp supports early-stage tech founders to rapidly scale their startups by providing direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners, and investors in their industry, the program targets startups that are developing innovative solutions to help make cities smarter and overcome significant challenges due to congestion, waste, and energy to improve the quality of people’s lives. 

What are you waiting for? Experience it first hand! 

We encourage you to learn about  Dubai World Expo which will be held on 1 Oct 2021 with the theme “Connecting minds, Creating the future”. Mohammed Alhashmi, CTO at Expo 2020 Dubai, elaborates, “As the largest event ever held in the Arab region, Expo 2020 Dubai will be one of the most connected places in the world, with a site-wide 5G network. About 20 times faster than 4G and with ultra-low latency, 5G technology will enable users to stream live 4K resolution any time, with virtually no lag.” (that means no more hi-jacking your friends’ hotspot!) 

Egypt, the motherland is on board the technological fleet! 

Egypt is also busy building a new smart city that aims to become the new administrative and financial capital of Egypt. The project will also be home to the new parliament and presidential palace, Egypt’s largest airport, and other cool attractions. 

See Also

This vision includes smart monitoring of traffic congestion and accidents, smart utilities to reduce consumption and cost, smart buildings and energy management including a focus on renewable energy and using IoT to save power consumption, as well as building optical-fiber infrastructure connecting every building using FTTX technology. I mean, what more can you ask for?

From the heart of the desert, a digital world rises 

As part of Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030, “The Line” a ground plan for “The NEOM project; a hyper-connected “cognitive” city. We’ll fill you in on the details; the line will have no cars, no streets, or carbon emissions but will solely be built on smart infrastructure, how cool is that! 

NEOM announced that it has partnered with STC to help create the first smart city, which will rely on 5G technology. In a joint statement, STC and NEOM said “5G technology will enable numerous segments such as IoT, data analytics, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart homes, and autonomous vehicles”. NEOM is not simply a city, but a new model of sustainable living. 

New technologies create many opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs to develop and learn skills in areas such as AI, Blockchain, IoT, mobility, and sustainability. Projects or initiatives that focus on a more technological future can be utilized greatly in smart cities, and the potential of scalability is very promising. 

Are you a startup with an interest in 5G and smart cities, share your ideas with us through our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Bahrain-based digital platform and publication for startups in the Middle East. Exclusive events, in-depth workshops, insightful content, and informative news. In strategic partnership with Tamkeen Bahrain, Zain Bahrain, National Bank of Bahrain, Zoho, Tenmou, and StartUp Bahrain.

Startup MGZN © 2020. All Rights Reserved.