Etisalat has conducted the first field test of 5G network technology in the MENA achieving peak download speeds of 36 Gbps at GITEX 2016.
Saeed AlZarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat said, “The new 5G network will help us cope with the massive digital content explosion we anticipate in the next few years. Our field test at GITEX Technology Week this year is a significant step in validating the performance of 5G in high frequency bands. It has refreshed our understanding to the capabilities of the technology, which we believe will deliver capacity and connectivity beyond anything we’ve even come close to today.”
Fellow operator du meanwhile earlier this week demonstrated the streaming of 360-degree virtual reality video via a 5G-ready network supplied by Nokia.
The new technology promises significantly higher mobile internet speeds, and is considered a key to the growth of smart city initiatives such as Smart Dubai, which rely on a multiplicity of devices connected via high-speed internet, often referred to as the Internet of Things.
Du and Etisalat have both announced they will commercially launch 5G services in time for when the UAE hosts the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
International standards body the International Telecommunications Union is expected to finalise standards for the technology in 2018, with equipment based on the new standard likely to become available in 2020.