UAE on track with plans for full 5G network coverage by 2025


5G has become an important priority in the wake of digital transformation especially in countries with a strong mobile market. The UAE’s vision – synonymous with innovation and ingenuity – has recognized the importance of 5G technology to support connected devices, drive industry development and enable efficient smart city capabilities.

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in UAE assigned, in March 2018, 200 MHz of frequency spectrum to operators to deploy the 5G services, successfully making the UAE the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch 5G in its commercial form to the public.

Etisalat and Du, the two leading operators, have launched 5G networks, and will use 2G spectrum for 5G use by the end of 2022.

TRA plans to cover UAE with 100% 5G network coverage by 2025, in a bid to become technology leaders of the network standard in the GCC.

“Expectation for all citizens to gradually be able to connect to a 5G connection in the next five years. Recent relocation of new frequencies in the 24.25-27.5 GHz spectrum will be a part of the rollout out of the new technology,” according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Therefore, the comprehensive implementation of 5G by the UAE will facilitate growth and spur development in new use cases and IoT.

What does the network need for development? Frequencies in the millimeter wave range between 24.25 – 27.5 GHz have been allocated for this purpose, aiming to boost the UAE’s global competitiveness with 5G.

“The introduction of this category of frequencies will enhance the country’s position among the indicators related to the readiness of the telecom sector and provide necessary resources for international mobile communications application,” said Tariq Al-Awadhi, Executive Director of the TRA’s Frequency Spectrum Department.

The UAE strategy for 5G and beyond (2020-2025) encourages proactivity and cooperation between telecom service providers and vertical sectors in the UAE that plan to benefit from 5G. It also focuses on establishment of leading partnerships to support a diverse ecosystem as well as 5G deployment and coverage.