UAE telecom operator Etisalat has completed a live trial of the upcoming 5G mobile technology using millimetre wave, it announced on Wednesday.
The trial – the first of the 5G network in the MENA region – took place during the Gitex Technology Week exhibition in Dubai this week.
The testing saw the company achieve speeds of 36 Gbps peak rate at E-band frequency, Etisalat said.
5G is all about “ubiquitous computing”, meaning the ability to access applications from any platform, anytime, anywhere.
The network is expected to facilitate smart vehicles, transport and infrastructure and allow for the critical control of remote devices.
It is the next step in the evolution of high-speed mobile broadband services and will allow for the mass deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.
In the UAE, 5G is expected to be deployed by 2020, although industry insiders say it might happen by 2018.
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“The new 5G network will help Etisalat cope with the massive digital content explosion anticipated in the next few years. Our field test at Gitex this year is a significant step in validating the performance of 5G in high frequency bands,” the company said in a statement.
Wireless broadband penetration in the UAE is already extremely high – it doubled from 45 per cent in 2013 to 90 per cent in 2015.
The country also has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates at 193 per cent.
Ahmed bin Ali, senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Etisalat Group said: “Etisalat is introducing concepts and ideas based on strong technologies and bringing solutions and services that facilitate not just end-users, but also businesses and governments for a better future.
“We are also paving the way for smarter digital solutions and applications that will mobilise people, businesses and the government sector for a better tomorrow.”