Why Jordan is looking into 5G

5G networks increase the speed of downloading and uploading data from and to the Internet in comparison to its predecessors, the 4G and 3G networks. (Photo: Envato elements)
AMMAN — The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) announced on September 16, 2021, that Jordan is preparing to introduce the 5th generation cellular network (5G).اضافة اعلان

The initiative came after “Royal directives to create an investment environment capable of providing services and boost partnerships with the private sector,” Ghazi Jabour, TRC chairman, said in a press statement to the Jordan News Agency, Petra. 

The 5G network is a new chapter in modern communication technologies and the successor to the 4G network currently used. The International Mobile Network Association estimated that 1.7 billion subscribers are expected to use 5G networks by 2025.

The networks use frequency packets in several bands; the first is less than 1GHz, the second is between 3400–3800MHz, and the third is the 26GHz or higher bands, representatives from the TRC told Jordan News. 

Since the use of high-frequency capacities characterizes 5G networks, it will increase the speed of downloading and uploading data to and from the internet in comparison to its 4G and 3G predecessors, making the 5G network most useful for content services, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence. 

5G can also facilitate the work of various applications, such as smart homes and buildings, smarter and cleaner cities, self-driving cars, road safety, intelligent transportation systems, 3D video, telemedicine, and virtual and augmented reality. The TRC said that 4G and 3G networks cannot support these services. 

The implementation of faster and competitive technologies will achieve economic growth and provide new job opportunities and institutions. Therefore, 5G is like entering a new era, the TRC added. 

“This step is considered a positive move due to the benefits and advanced features of this technology. It will contribute to achieving digital transformation, as 5G will have a great impact on various operations, especially in the realm of the Internet of Things,” Tareq Al-Bitar, corporate communications and sustainability director at Zain Jordan, said in an interview with Jordan News

However, the TRC doesn’t have a set launch date for the service. “The TRC is preparing the regulatory studies necessary to operate the 5G services in the Kingdom,” they said. “Bear in mind, launching the 5G services for commercial use requires time and consultation with the responsible companies. So they can complete the process of establishing and operating the network.” 

Beyond the launch date, Bitar also raised concerns about the limitations of working within the sector to introduce the new network. “The current regulations, restrictions, and limitations imposed on the telecom sector, in addition to the prices of frequencies, may stand in the way of achieving this ambition. These current restrictions call for an action from the government to review the regulations governing the sector’s work, to encourage operators to work on rolling out 5G services, and remove any restrictions that may prevent them from being able to invest in such advanced technology,” he said. 

According to Bitar, the government did include the issue in its Economic Priority Plan. However, the TRC has not yet determined the costs of acquiring the 5G frequencies and their annual returns. They also stated that it is too early to discuss the tariff of the new 5G services. 

The TRC did not disclose who would be responsible for creating the infrastructure like the radio towers that broadcast the 5G waves. “The TRC will grant the 5G frequencies only to licensed companies, and this includes approving the construction of towers for radio stations to provide fifth-generation services by those companies,” the TRC said.

The 5G service will be available to users within the specified geographical locations that have devices compatible with 5G. It will also be rolled out in stages set by telecommunication companies, according to the TRC.

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