The whole world is aware by now of the benefits of artificial intelligence and how it can transform businesses. A report commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Ernst & Young on AI maturity in the Middle East and Africa region, found that at least 46% of South African companies are piloting artificial intelligence and are showing more and more interest in deploying the new technology.

Read more: South Africa is ready for AI, despite challenges

What is 5G? The answer has become pretty simple now. It is a technology that will offer greatly increased bandwidth, dramatically faster download speeds and low latency. 5G networks will enable a long-term digital transformation and contribute to the emergence of smart societies around the world, in addition to setting the foundation for advanced technologies based on the Internet of Things (IoT). Now, as 5G deployment appears on the horizon, Africa, just like any other region in the world, has realized the importance of joining this technological race to leverage its benefits and empower citizens to boost innovation.

Read more: Will Africa catch up after all?

Revealing 5G technology has enabled operators and suppliers to seek multiple sources of revenue from it. The industry conceptualized new 5G business models and assumed new services fell into three categories: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC). Each class creates different demands of bandwidth, latency and intelligence. Enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access will lead the way, but IoT applications and use cases requiring ultra-reliable and low latency communications will be more efficient on 5G networks than on previous generation infrastructure.

Read more: Enlarging the scope of business models with the advent of 5G

The telecommunications industry has been one important pillar in Africa that is lifting the continent up and putting it in the spotlight again. Telecommunication technologies aim at insuring communication in the first place, but are also meant to transform lives not only in developed countries but in emerging and developing nations.

Read more: The telecommunications industry revolutionizing Africa

Africa and the world are on the verge of enhanced technological capabilities and empowerment. Artificial intelligence will transform organizations, societies, and economies fundamentally. That’s what Sebuh Haileleul, Country General Manager of Microsoft East Africa believes.

Read more: AI is changing Africa and the world as we know it

The world witnessed in the past years unprecedented technological advancements and the emergence of new trends thanks to one thing: data. It is not surprising that the latter was an essential enabler of digitalization because it is the basis of almost every technological innovation. Given the importance of data, governments and international entities have established relevant frameworks, laws and regulations in order to avoid data breaches and sanction perpetrators in case they took place. However, in Africa, a technologically emerging continent, data protection hasn’t reached quite the right level.

Read more: Data protection in Africa under the microscope

The term ‘digital’ has changed everything the moment it emerged and has become somehow a label. Coupled with different other factors, the world has found itself amid a whole new era built on digital transformation, digital currencies and digital economies. The change that occurred had a significant impact on consumers’ behavior, business operations, government systems, and of course, finance. This is when the concept of a digital tax was born.

Read more: Are economies ready for digital taxes?

5G is expected to complement 4G technologies to improve standard of living for consumers and society as a whole, and open new revenue opportunities for enterprises across a wide spectrum of industries. Early commercial deployments are expected in 2019, and widespread deployment will still take a number of years – 5G is designed to deliver incredible data speeds, provide large capacity, low latency and energy efficiency to support innovation and services across industries.  

Read more: Ericsson executive says it’s critical to address consumer 5G requirements

In light of new digital ecosystems, lowering costs and building a modern IT environment have become an objective that companies seek to achieve in order to develop their operations. One of the elements leading to achieve this is migrating data to the public cloud. However, for some, this type of migration can be accompanied by technological, operational, financial and security challenges. According to McKinsey, the best way though is progressively adopting hybrid-cloud solutions.

Read more: Adopting a new approach for a productive cloud migration

For content providers and mobile operators alike, the growth of data consumption has grown at a torrid pace. Northern Asia has among the highest data use globally with the developing SE Asian nations catching up each year.  In general, the demand for capacity is being driven by the introduction of new data services along with an insatiable appetite for video and content heavy applications with all of these being lapped up by consumers and enterprises across Asia, SE Asia’s rapidly growing middle class. 

Read more: StrataNet owned network covers Asia to USA