Sponsored By

UAE Aims to be First With Nationwide 5G in 2020UAE Aims to be First With Nationwide 5G in 2020

Etisalat joins NTT DoCoMo, SKT and Verizon in trying to be among the lead group of carriers to deploy 5G.

Dan Jones

October 21, 2015

2 Min Read
UAE Aims to be First With Nationwide 5G in 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is throwing its hat into the 5G ring, claiming that it will be the first country to deploy the future wireless technology nationwide.

"We are ready to take the big leap into the future of the telecom industry with the UAE becoming the world's first nation to roll out the 5G network," Ahmad Julfar, CEO of Etisalat , said this week at a GSM Association (GSMA) event in Dubai.

The nationwide deployment of the 5G network will be hung around the Expo 2020 event in Dubai, which starts in October 2020. Etisalat has a 5G development deal in place with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC).

For more on 5G, visit the dedicated 5G section here on Light Reading.

The 5G specification hasn't yet been set in stone, but the end result is expected to be a wireless system that's tens of times faster than current 4G networks, offering gigabit-per-second download speeds over the air. For the consumer, this would mean that an HD movie could be downloaded to a compatible 5G smartphone. (See Ericsson CTO: Artificial Intelligence Will Make 5G Smarter.)

All of this is at least a few years in the future, but that isn't stopping Asian and other operators from racing to be the first with some kind of 5G deployment. NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) is plotting a 5G deployment for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July 2020. SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) in South Korea is also eyeing a 2020 timeframe for initial deployments. (See SK Telecom: Small Cells Key to 5G and Getting Massive at DoCoMo's 5G Lab.)

Recently, Verizon Wireless has become very aggressive on its 5G timeline. The US operator is plotting 5G field trials in 2016, and there have even suggestions of initial deployments in 2017, which could happen before 5G proofs-of-concept are completed (See Verizon & Partners to Field Test 5G in 2016.)

Not all US carriers are so bullish though: Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) suggested that 5G will arrive after 2020 in the US in a recent presentation. (See Sprint: 5G in the US After 2020?)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like