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UAE will have 5G network by 2020 – du CEO

UAE will have 5G network by 2020 – du CEO

The country is hoping to have the network in place ahead of World Expo 2020 in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is expected to rollout 5G network across the country before 2020, the chief executive officer of telecom operator du has confirmed.

“We should have 5G before 2020, hopefully,” Osman Sultan told Gulf Business on the sidelines of the Change-Makers Forum event in Dubai.

“You still have five years, we will accelerate growth.”

According to industry experts, 5G is the next stage for the technology evolution where broadband access will be available everywhere at anytime.

The network is expected to facilitate smart vehicles, transport and infrastructure and allow for the critical control of remote devices.

“It will connect not just people but also connect things in a very relevant way,” Ericsson’s senior vice president and head of Group Function Sales Jan Wareby said at the event.

By 2021, 125 million live 5G networks are expected to be operational, he added.

Last year Etisalat CEO Ahmad Julfar also confirmed that the UAE would become the first country in the world to have a nation-wide rollout of the 5G network.

The network will be in place ahead of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, he added.

Wireless broadband penetration in the UAE is already extremely high – it has 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.

The rollout of the new network will have some obvious advantages, the regional head of Technology at Al Tamini group Chris Appleby wrote in a recent article.

“First, there will be higher coverage, density and availability of mobile services which will allow more devices to operate in a given area while downloading and uploading vastly more data. Secondly, new technologies will allow significant reductions in energy usage and a corresponding increase in the battery life of devices.”

However, he also stressed that the new applications that depend on the enhanced 5G technologies will need to be developed within a suitable regulatory framework, whether it be in healthcare, transport or media.

Further regulatory challenges will also arise in dealing with scarce spectrum resources, he opined.

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