UAE-based telecommunications operator Etisalat is shelling out over AED 4b in rolling out 5G network base stations this year in a bid to remain ahead of its Middle East peers.
Etisalat, which is operating in 15 markets throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa, is the first in the region to provide 5G commercially.
“We have released and transmitted 5G networks to over 1,000 new base stations spread throughout the UAE. The amount of base stations is going to be elevated year after year but it will take a moment to pay for 100% of the UAE,” Dr. Ahmed Bin Ali, senior vice-president for corporate communications at Etisalat Group, told TechRadar Middle East after unveiling Huawei’s Mate 20 X 5G device.
At this time, he was quoted saying that Etisalat is focusing more on the inhabited regions of the UAE however the 5G journey had begun in 2014 and set up the first 5G base station in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region at Dubai Expo 2020 site in May this past year. It’s also the first regional operator to offer 5G coverage inside an airport in Abu Dhabi and to launch a 5G smartphone.
New avenues of growth
At approximately 20 times quicker than 4G and with ultra-low latency of one millisecond when compared with 15-20 millisecond on 4G network, he stated that 5G technology will allow Etisalat e-Life customers to stream live 4K resolution video whenever you want, with hardly any lag.
Together with the launch of 5G in the UAE, Sukhdev Singh, executive director at research and consulting services provider Kantar, declared that carrier’s networks would take a look at new avenues of business growth that could be powered more by business solutions, no less than to start with.
Based on the Ericsson Mobility Report, 60 million 5G subscriptions are forecast for the end of 2024 in the Middle East and North Africa region, symbolizing 3% of the 1.9 billion global mobile subscriptions.
Etisalat had agreed upon with Ericsson and Huawei to reveal 5G networks in the UAE.
Bin Ali said that the current 5G speed is about 1GHz in the UAE but the speed will expand faster next year.