Ericsson’s (NASDAQ:ERIC) 5G Innovation Hub in Saudi Arabia is currently developing a wide range of 5G use cases across different industries and segments for consumers and enterprises across the Kingdom with 100 local fresh graduates curated from Saudi Arabia’s leading universities contributing to the initiatives.
The fresh graduates, 50 percent of which are female, are presented with the opportunity to experience on-the-job training, test ideas, and see innovation come to life. In the past two years the graduates have helped develop multiple use-cases in 2019 and in 2020 helped push out several more.
The 5G Innovation Hub was established to help the Kingdom leverage 5G by testing new 5G-related and Internet of Things (IoT) use-cases. Working with its global ecosystem of partners, Ericsson’s 5G Innovation Hub is able to collaborate with academia, startups, and partners in Saudi Arabia to build technological opportunities.
With the aspiration of the Innovation Hub in fueling use-case generation across industries, Ericsson has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with stc’s enterprise unit to build use-cases in innovative, private network opportunities, as well as Industry 4.0 and cross-company talent development. The partnership with stc has already seen the co-creation of a proof of concept (PoC) trial. Under the umbrella of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2018 between Ericsson and stc for the Rawafed program, the agreement further supports the principle of maximizing local content and leading the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Saudi.
The hub is also supporting service providers through market research on how 5G can positively impact the aviation, ports, logistics, and oil and gas sectors, as well as how to utilize technology to improve public safety. This research and development will exhibit to operators the development of 5G use-cases and innovative applications for consumers and enterprises through technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, drones, smart surveillance, real-time and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based video analytics – all geared towards supporting Saudi Vision 2030.
Ericsson’s Innovation Hub conducts research and analysis of the local challenges and develops solutions and applications that solve these challenges in a manner that is well-suited to the local markets to show that high bandwidth and low latency provided by 5G can achieve the goals of the nation. The use-cases also highlight the importance of edge computing, network slicing and private networks for some applications. Moreover, the hub supports enterprises to unleash the value of cellular connectivity by conducting trials and proof of concepts (PoCs) activities with different local ecosystem players.
Ericsson’s commitment to talent development in the Kingdom has combined the efforts of the Innovation Hub and the company’s graduate program. Ericsson’s graduate program is focused on incubating talent in the Kingdom in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as well as demonstrating the role the company has in the country’s development. The 100 graduates have been exposed to new and different technologies, trained on Ericsson’s process for developing innovation, as well as instilling a creative mindset through brainstorms and active ideation.
Eng. Emad Alaoudah, Procurement and Support Services Vice President at stc says: “Our long-standing partnership with Ericsson continues to generate values well beyond the core aspects of our agreement. Both Ericsson and stc are committed to playing a significant role in the nation’s digital transformation and Saudi Vision 2030 by focusing on the nation’s most valuable asset, its people. In collaboration with Ericsson we can help to build the next generation of leaders in the ICT sector to fulfill Saudi Vision 2030. Moreover, the agreement aligns with stc’s Rawafed program’s vision to champion local content to build, develop and grow the ICT sector within the Kingdom by increasing its overall contribution to the economy.”
Mathias Johansson, Head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt adds: “5G will be an important driver of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the Innovation Hub is playing a significant role in widespread adoption of 5G in the Kingdom. It is vital that local Saudi talent is a cornerstone of this development and incubating the talents of people across the nation is essential. Working with leaders in the ICT sector like stc and Ericsson, Saudi graduates can help spearhead the progress of the nation in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”