UAE Telco Providers Are Gearing Up For 5G

The new service will increase connection speeds, allowing for more video content, augmented and virtual reality, as well as the Internet of Things

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to be one of the first countries in the world to roll out the fifth generation of mobile networks, more commonly known as 5G.

With this strategic move, the UAE wants to position itself at the forefront of innovation and pave the way for a new economic model.

The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, or Du, one of the country’s two main telecom providers, announced the first commercial launch of 5G for 2019. Ultrafast 5G mobile networks are currently being tested in different parts of the world and are expected to launch globally in 2020.

“At Du, we believe that 5G is the future … [It] will completely change the connectivity experience of our customers, as transfer of information will be instantaneous,” says Marwan BinShakar, vice president of access and transport planning at Du.

BinShakar says the new service will substantially increase connection speeds, allowing for more video content, augmented and virtual reality, as well as the Internet of Things. “5G will accomplish super high speeds, low latency communication and machine-to-machine type communication in the UAE,” Du stated in a press release. “The 5G world will be super-connected, with homes, cars and other gadgets all syncing together.”

The UAE’s other telecom operator, Etisalat, is also in the final phases of 5G development. In May, it partnered with the Swedish telecom leader Ericsson to carry out the Middle East North Africa region’s first 5G trial in a real-world environment. According to Saeed Al Zarouni, senior vice president of mobile networks at Etisalat, the live demonstration provided “a glimpse into the future.”

His Swedish counterpart, Petter Järtby, head of Etisalat’s global customer unit at Ericsson region Middle East, added: “This next generation of technology will enable organizations to move into new markets and build new revenue streams with radically new business models.”