Etisalat launches Middle East’s first 5G broadband service

Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The UAE’s leading telecom services operator Etisalat has announced the successful launch of the first 5G Ultra-Mobile broadband experience in the Middle East region.

A pre-commercial 5G network has been deployed in certain locations within the UAE including the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said a statement from Etisalat.

State-of-the-art 5G services have been demonstrated using an advanced 5G-based drone that is equipped with 360 degree Virtual Reality (VR) camera with 4K streaming experience in live environment achieving up to 5Gbps in downlink and 2Gbps in Uplink with extremely low latency and massive IoT connections, it stated.

In addition, a new 5G triple play wireless access services (Data, Voice and TV) are experienced using a unique compact 5G Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) device.

This initial deployment of the advanced 5G system will be a major enabler for the fourth industrial revolution and will create new business opportunities for Etisalat partners in the UAE including Intelligent Transport System (ITS), autonomous car, smart health and education among others it stated.

Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli said: “I am glad to announce this successful launch of pre-commercial 5G services in the UAE in alignment with the government vision to maintain our top ranking worldwide.”

“Etisalat is always committed to provide state-of-the-art technologies and services in the UAE. In addition to the 5G and smart city strategies, we will continue our digital transformation journey by further developing new capabilities including Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, network virtualisation and automation, Internet of Things. By leveraging on our capabilities, Etisalat is able to deliver more agile and innovative services in a timely manner to the market,” stated Al Abdooli. The New Radio (NR) 5G sites are operating in the semi-globally harmonised C-band (3.3-3.8GHz) with advanced 5G technologies and features including a Massive Mimo Active Antenna system with a high number of data streams and beam-forming capabilities.

According to him, Etisalat will continue the development and deployment of 5G network with targets to offer 5G consumer and business services with extremely high speeds, low latency and massive machine connections.

Etisalat, he stated, has been at the forefront of the mobile industry by conducting several 5G trials using different frequency bands over the last few years achieving up to 71.75 Gbps (operating within E-band) and new mobility experience in high frequency bands.

Etisalat has widely deployed its Gigabit LTE network as part of its nationwide network modernisation in preparation for 5G along with deploying NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies to support enormous machine connections towards the UAE’s transformation to smart cities.

An E2E infrastructure based on network function visualisation and Software Defined Network is being developed along with the capabilities of big data and Artificial Intelligence, noted Al Abdooli.

“Etisalat confirms its commitment towards deployment of 5G services in major UAE cities during 2018 in preparation for the major planned events during 2018-2020 including the World Government Summit, AFC Asian Cup, ITU PP-18 and Dubai Expo2020,” he added.