Dubai Expo 2020 5G takes digital into a new era

World-class network will also help attract top-tier companies to District 2020, the development that will continue Expo 2020’s legacy

Signage for 5G is displayed at the KT Corp. booth at the World IT Show 2018 in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The show runs through May 27. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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Expo 2020 Dubai is not waiting until 2020 to showcase the latest in innovation.

It is already proving to be at the forefront of technology, becoming the first major commercial customer to access 5G services in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (Measa) region.

This is a nationally significant achievement, reinforcing the reputations of the UAE and Dubai as leaders in innovation.

As demonstrated yesterday at the Expo 2020 Dubai site by Expo's Official Telecommunications Premier Partner Etisalat, 5G will take digital connectivity into a new era. About 20 times faster than 4G and with virtually no latency (delay), as well as ultra-low energy requirements, 5G will provide Expo 2020 and its legacy development, District 2020, with an edge over other mega events and major developments.

The 5G network supports Expo 2020’s goal to be one of the most connected places on Earth, both physically and virtually. The Expo 2020 site is the only location in the UAE to be directly connected to the main connection hub  in Fujairah, where the UAE’s internet network connects with the rest of the world. This means that without any diversions, the Expo site receives a perfect signal – a rarity in the industry and the best you can get.

Rashid Mohammed, vice president, Intelligent Connect, Expo 2020 Dubai. Courtesy Intelligent Connect
Rashid Mohammed, vice president, Intelligent Connect, Expo 2020 Dubai. Courtesy Intelligent Connect

Expo 2020’s early access to 5G services means our partners, including SMEs, can access the most advanced digital network to test their next-generation products and services. The incredibly low latency of 5G has applications in autonomous driving, networked vehicles, industrial automation and IoT (Internet of Things), among others. These innovations are also key topics for Expo 2020, and with early access to 5G we can be at the forefront of showcasing them in collaboration with our partners.

The world-class network will also help attract top-tier companies to District 2020, the mixed-purpose development that will continue Expo 2020’s legacy as a place to connect, create and innovate.


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We expect that Expo 2020’s position as the first major commercial customer to access 5G services in the Measa region will put it at the top of the list for top-tier multinational companies looking to set up headquarters or to expand in the region. This would, of course, have a domino effect on the entire UAE economy, creating new direct and indirect opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

Helping to set this global benchmark for digital connectivity also supports the UAE’s 2021 Vision, which identifies digital technology as one of the top seven primary national sectors.

It underscores Expo 2020’s ambition to support the UAE’s vision to advance key technologies, including the IoT, big data and augmented reality. It will also support the UAE’s strategic industries including logistics, construction and real estate, tourism and travel, and education.

Construction workers stand on a concrete supporting structure for the new metro rail link to the city at the building site for the World Expo 2020 exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Much of the Arab world is mired in violence, poverty and unemployment, and yet in Dubai they���re��busy working on sending a probe to the red planet within three years. Photographer: Khushnum��Bhandari/Bloomberg
New metro rail link for Expo 2020. Advances across many sectors are being fuelled by the event. Bloomberg

During Expo 2020, the 5G network will provide the most advanced digital and telecom services to our millions of visitors, including supporting an expected 300,000 users on peak days. It will drive our "smart site", allowing us to offer digital experiences that will create one of the most efficient and engaging events in the world.

Using 5G to digitally connect our millions of visitors with their surrounding environment, we can enrich their experience and optimise their interactions throughout their Expo journey. This could include supporting smart tickets, tech-enabled volunteers, smart food-ordering, dynamic crowd management, dynamic information on pavilions, 4K security cameras, and much more.

This national achievement would not have been possible without collaboration between Expo 2020 Dubai and UAE telecom provider Etisalat, perfectly demonstrating Expo 2020’s theme: "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".

Rashid Mohammed is vice president – Intelligent Connect, Expo 2020 Dubai