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GSMA M360 MENA COMMENCES IN RIYADH AS NEW REPORT CONFIRMS 5G IS DRIVING GDP GROWTH IN THE REGION

05/12/2023

The GSMA celebrates the start of proceedings with the publication of its annual Mobile Economy MENA 2023 Report

5 December 2023, Riyadh: GSMA M360 MENA commenced today at the Fairmont Riyadh, marking the beginning of two full days of keynotes, summits and networking focused around shaping the digital ecosystem in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).

The annual event, supported by host sponsor stc, convenes leaders from across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries to explore the strategies, collaboration and policies that will accelerate the MENA region's digital-first future. Key themes that will be discussed at this year's event include the transformative power of AI, IoT and edge computing, cybersecurity threats and approaches, digital inclusion and future opportunities for 5G.

Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, said: We are delighted to be here in Riyadh for M360 MENA and to witness some of the amazing innovation taking place in the city. Indeed, Vision 2030 is taking off across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the beauty is that connectivity lies at the heart of it all. M360 MENA is our chance to champion these achievements in mobile connectivity and celebrate the ambitious vision for the digital economy in the entire region.

The Mobile Economy MENA Report 2023

At M360 MENA, the GSMA launched the Mobile Economy MENA 2023 Report which revealed 5G's GDP contribution is expected to reach $60bn in 2030, representing 13% of the overall annual economic impact of mobile in the region.

The report spotlights the latest trends shaping the mobile ecosystem in MENA, the mobile industry's regional impact, and priorities that will fuel the industry's future growth in the region.

Other key findings include:

5G will account for half of total mobile connections in MENA by 2030

5G is gaining momentum in MENA, driven by the launch of new networks and the rapid expansion of existing networks. However, 4G will remain the dominant technology in the region in the medium term, accounting for more than 50% of total connections until 2026.

Continued MENA mobile growth through to the end of the decade

There are currently 415 million unique mobile subscribers in MENA, which will rise to 550 million by 2030. Mobile internet users will grow from 330 million today to 425 million in 2030.

Commercial 5G deployments in MENA have been varied

At the end of November 2023, 23 mobile operators in nine markets across MENA had launched commercial 5G services. Despite growing momentum behind 5G in North Africa, commercial 5G remains absent in the region, reflecting the challenging situation with spectrum which has not yet been assigned in any North African country.

5G SA and 5G-Advanced will be at the heart of 5G's next phase

By June 2023, six operators in MENA had already rolled out 5G SA networks, contributing to 15% of the global total. Operators in MENA have also begun planning for 5G-Advanced.

The shift to circularity is gathering momentum

In response to escalating concerns regarding the generation of e-waste and the unsustainable depletion of natural resources, the concept of circularity has surged to the forefront of the agendas for policymakers and industry stakeholders. This amplified focus on sustainability is particularly evident in view of the region's role as the host for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Presented by the GSMA, M360 is a series of global events that unify the regional mobile ecosystem. The events aim to discover, develop, and deliver innovation that serves as the foundation for positive business environments and societal change. The events facilitate inspirational keynotes, thought-provoking panel discussions and insightful case studies across mobile technology and adjacent industry verticals.

M360 MENA follows a full year of the GSMA's M360 event series in 2023, which this year has included M360 Eurasia, M360 LATAM, M360 UK and M360 APAC.

For the full M360 agenda, click here. To download the Mobile Economy MENA Report, please click here.

-END-

About GSMA

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today's biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world's largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events.

We invite you to find out more at gsma.com

Media Contacts

GSMA Press Office

pressoffice@gsma.com

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