UAE: Etisalat 5G rollout as TRA confirms the allocation of new frequencies

UAE Etisalat 5G rollout as TRA confirms the allocation of new frequencies

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority TRA UAE has allocated frequencies in the millimetre wave range between 24.25 – 27.5 gigahertz that will secure the deployment of 5G in the country. The new frequency will help the country deploy applications such as self-driving cars, smart industry, and the Internet of Things. According to Arabian Business, the frequency allocated by TRA is the first in the Middle East and North Africa.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA’s director general said “5G technologies play a vital role in developing smart cities and societies, as they accelerate access to a more digitally connected world”, according to The National. Moreover, “These technologies have enormous capacity that can be combined with other technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, in order to enhance the digitalization process and enrich the digital economy and infrastructure in the UAE.”

Al Mansoori said that the TRA decision comes in line with the UAE Strategy for 5G and beyond (2020-2025). The strategy consists of providing global standards services, achieve long-term social and economic benefits in various areas as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and education, states Arabian Business.

According to the regulator, the frequency bands will be allocated in two phases: September 1, 2020, and the third quarter of 2021 respectively. In September, the frequency band allocated was in the 26.5-27.5 GHz. As for the second phase,1 GHz will be allocated per operator in the 25.5-27.5 GHz range. TRA will help the biggest telecom operators extend the scope of 5G network deployment. Following TRA’s move, Etisalat, the UAE’s biggest telecom operator will be rolling out 5G services on fixed-line networks. Securing the availability of a 5G network for home users is crucial especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today’s announcement is significant as it lays a foundation for 5G use cases to bringing futuristic technologies and solutions in a mature 5G ecosystem,” avowed Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat. Moreover, he said, “This is only the beginning of the next evolution of fixed wireless technologies … for UAE residents and businesses.” On the other hand, the operator said in a separate statement that the 5G connectivity will allow users to “stream high bandwidth 4K videos, enjoy cloud-based gaming and low latency to meet the accelerated need for immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality during the pandemic”.

Back to December 2019, Tariq Al Awadi, Executive Director of Spectrum Affairs at TRA UAE told TechRadar Middle East “By 2025, we will have 100% coverage of the UAE with 5G millimetre wave (24.25GHz to the 86GHz).”