Telecom regulator TRA announced the creation of three working groups to facilitate 5G developments in the Arab country

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the initial steps for the future development of 5G networks in the country. The regulator confirmed that telecommunications operators in the UAE will start the deployment of 5G networks in several phases starting from early 2018.

The TRA has formed three committees working under the supervision of the UAE 5G steering committee. The three committees will work in a coordinated manner in the fields of spectrum, verticals and network aspects. The UAE 5G steering committee aims also to establish a systematic framework in the UAE to help stakeholders to test 5G networks and achieve the optimum use in meeting their needs.

The regulator also highlighted that different frequency bands are being considered to facilitate the deployment of 5G in the UAE for the purposes of coverage and capacity over wide areas, small areas, hotspots and indoor implementations.

5G deployment plans and venues are discussed closely with mobile operators to ensure the successful launch of this technology, the regulator added.

The TRA supports initiating 5G technology before 2020 in the 1427-1518 MHz, 3300-3800 MHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands. In addition, the 40 GHz range will be considered for 5G technology beyond the year 2020.

The regulator said that 5G deployments will allow the Arab country to enter the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with technologies such as artificial intelligence, smart cities and the internet of things (IoT), among others.

Mobile operators in the UAE are also taking steps in order to launch commercial 5G services in the coming years. Last year, local operator Etisalat said it launched the first pre-commercial 5G network in specific locations within UAE, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 5G services have been demonstrated using an advanced 5G based drone that is equipped with a 360-degree VR camera with 4K streaming experience in live environment achieving up to 5Gbps in downlink and 2Gbps in uplink with extremely low latency and massive IoT connections, the telco said.

In October last year, Etisalat said that it has reached 71Gbps in its latest 5G live trial. The Arab telco also showcased the use of 5G in healthcare, 4K video and face recognition. Etisalat said it expects to deploy 5G networks in the UAE by 2020.

Meanwhile, rival operator du confirmed plans to launch commercial 5G in the UAE during the second half of 2019. The operator

The Middle East and North African (MENA) region will be amongst the first in the world to launch commercial 5G networks, according to a study by GSMA. The study forecasts that there will be more than 50 million 5G connections across the MENA region by 2025, with 5G networks covering approximately 30% of the region’s population by that point.

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