Dubai-based telecom operator du is going to showcase the potential and benefits of the fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology to the customers at its stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
From May 8, residents can experience the speed and latency when compared to 4G before it is commercially launched it in the UAE.
Osman Sultan, CEO of from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the parent company of du, told TechRadar Middle East recently that its network is ready for 5G and it is happening much sooner than expected.
5G is expected to deliver speeds that are 100 times faster than 4G and can provide up to 10Gbps. Also, where 4G offers a latency of 15-20 milliseconds, 5G will be one millisecond.
Sultan believes that at the start, speed is going to be the key differentiator for 5G which will be targeted more towards outdoor coverage rather than indoor. The latency part will come at a later stage.
“In this quarter, we will have significant 5G coverage in Dubai,” he said. With the 5G new radio access (5G NR) technology, the initial phase will deliver unprecedented high data speeds. Following that, the technology will evolve to deliver the remaining set of capabilities.
The telecom operator aims to install more than 700 5G-enabled stations by the end of 2019.
For this, the operator is expecting a 60 per cent increase in capital expenditure (CapEx) this year to AED 1.6 billion compared to AED 1 billion last year. The company has already invested AED 181 million in the first three months of this year in a bid to ramp up preparations for the launch of 5G and drive digital transformation.
With the likely introduction of 5G in the UAE, Sukhdev Singh, executive director at research and consulting services provider Kantar, said that it is expected that service providers would look at new avenues of business growth which could be driven more by enterprise solutions, at least to begin with.
However, he said that Singh said 5G smartphones and 5G routers for home use are expected to be available in the second half of this year but at relatively higher prices. The operator has signed partnerships with Nokia, Affirmed Networks and MediaTek to launch next-generation Narrow-Band IoT services, which is critical to the successful adoption of 5G technology.
“We are creating a new track of revenue streams by forming alliances as it will enable devices to deliver a wealth of smart city applications ranging from smart metering, smart parking, trackers, smart health, industrial and agriculture use cases,” Sultan said.