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Jordan eyes 5G to transform public services, power digital economy

By Ethan Wang - Apr 14,2022 - Last updated at Apr 14,2022

Plans are underway to roll out 5G in Jordan, heralding a digital-led future for the Hashemite Kingdom. 5G is a fundamental technology to enable the next generation of digital services and help establish the country as a knowledge-based economy.The next-generation technology will boost Jordan Vision 2025 by accelerating the ICT sector in the country, already one of the fastest-growing sectors of Jordan’s economy. HYPERLINK "https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/jordan-information-and-communication-technology"Data shows the ICT sector accounts for 3.8 per cent of the country’s gross GDP, with total annual revenue exceeding $2.3 billion. There are currently more than 900 active companies in the sector that directly employ about 22,000 employees. 

For Jordanian carriers, 5G promises significant revenue growth potential and evolved customer experiences. We see that early adopters in the region have begun to reap the benefits of 5G. For instance, Kuwait was one of the countries in the Middle East with the earliest and fastest 5G development. Since June 2019, three carriers deployed 5G on a nationwide scale and they’ve reported strong business results that have been bolstered by their 5G user growth as well as 5G technology efficiency and competencies.

But the benefits of 5G go beyond enabling operators’ business growth. 5G is also an enabler of numerous verticals, industries, businesses and public services. Most importantly, 5G will enable completely new applications only accessible with advanced technologies, such as lag-free ultra-HD video over wireless, truly smart cities, autonomous mobility, telemedicine, mobile AR and VR, and soon, the metaverse. 

Further, 5G will enable Jordan’s enterprising business community to advance business operations, enter new markets, access finance and attract talent. Jordan’s entrepreneurship spirit is the envy of the region. Access to affordable technical talent, good infrastructure, a liberalised telecom sector, proximity to key regional markets, and government support have spurred a thriving private sector. According to the HYPERLINK "https://www.zawya.com/en/press-release/crown-prince-highlights-growing-potential-for-business-process-it-outsourcing-in-kingdom-at-launch-of-jordan-rybzlz8s"Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, 27 per cent of Middle East and North Africa tech entrepreneurs are Jordanian, even though the country accounts for only 3 per cent of MENA’s population. 

To fortify these gains, the government is continually exploring new ideas to boost the digital ecosystem. A promising initiative is Jordan Source — part of the Jordanian government’s youth technology and jobs program — designed to facilitate and ease new investments into Jordan’s digital outsourcing economy and create more jobs for the country’s digital talents.

Jordan Source, and other similar initiatives, recognise that the country’s greatest resource is its youth talent. The country has a young, well-educated, technologically-savvy, highly-skilled population bilingual in English and Arabic with a neutral accent and eager to work at competitive wages. More than 50 per cent of the population is under the age of 24, with 22 per cent holding degrees in IT, computer science and engineering.

As a leading technology provider in Jordan, we support these efforts to nurture the country’s ICT talent. Working within broad public/private sector ecosystems, we continue to invest in various skills development to ensure that organisations have access to the qualified personnel they need to pursue their digital transformation goals. Huawei has longstanding programmes such as Huawei Middle East ICT Competition, Seeds for the Future and the Huawei ICT Academy to support the government’s vision to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy.

In the past two decades, we’ve helped the Middle East cultivate more than 100,000 ICT talents, out of which more than 5,000 were based in Jordan. In the Kingdom, we have worked with educational authorities, universities, other educational institutions, and partners to set talent standards, build alliances, and demonstrate the value of talent. Some of our education partners include Hashemite University, Princess Sumaya University of Technology, Jordan University of Science and Technology), and Al Balqa’ Applied University (BAU).

To guarantee continued success, however, the country must bolster its ICT assets against the growing threat of cybercrime. Collaboration is vital in tackling this global threat. A safer network is a shared obligation. Huawei is working with the government, industry, universities, customers, and partners to advance cybersecurity and strengthen Jordan’s position as a trusted destination for foreign investment and residency.   

Jordan has a rich and proud history of ingenuity overcoming formidable odds, epitomised by the historical city of Petra. Today, by investing in 5G, digital transformation, and empowering the talent ecosystem, Jordan is on track to emerge as adigital economic titan of this era. 

The writer is CEO of Huawei Jordan

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