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Etisalat has made global strides in 5G by setting a benchmark right from the launch of the network to the services with its infrastructure ready to support all 5G devices and future solutions backed by the continuous investments in technology and innovation on the network enabling superior 5G connectivity.

The continuous support and wise leadership of the UAE celebrating its golden jubilee this year has played a critical role throughout Etisalat's journey and the development of the telecom sector, setting a great motivation for Etisalat to continue deploying the latest innovative technologies and enriching the digital experience of customers while transforming communities.

Etisalat has built thousands of 5G sites until today to enable 5G coverage across the country. The network was ready to provide the service as soon as the 5G mobile handsets were available in UAE. Our management’s strategy to focus on digital innovation and to ‘drive the digital future to empower societies’ have led to investments in superior and state-of-the-art technology solutions on the network.

With a landmark achievement in speed, Etisalat offers consumers the world’s fastest 5G download speed of 9.1Gbps. This is a result of building a robust network that empowered this leap in the 5G era to offer a speed 30 times faster than a 4G average throughput. This had a significant and profound change on individuals, industries, society and the economy, transforming how we live and work.

5G has all the capabilities to enable industries break any barriers in embracing and accelerating their own digitalization journey. Etisalat has set milestones all the way, from making the first live 5G video call from the world’s tallest and iconic tower ‘Burj Khalifa’ to becoming the first operator to enable a metro station, transform a smart district to empowering an international racing track with 5G connectivity.

Etisalat took the lead in the launch of 5G in the MENA region targeting opportunities to maximize value from the delivery of end-to-end 5G enabled solutions. The telco has set benchmarks for the industry backed by the infrastructure accomplishments made in the past, continuously engaged with relevant stakeholders to deploy and monetize from the 5G network, while at the same time testing and exploring new 5G use cases for the government, business and different industries.

Etisalat’s journey towards 5G

Etisalat embarked on its 5G journey in 2014 when it started constructing the network with a dedicated team of engineers and specialists to build one of the most advanced networks in the region.

In 2016, Etisalat Group signed a premier partnership deal with Expo 2020 Dubai, the first major commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to access 5G services making them one of the fastest, smartest and best-connected places in the world.

Another significant milestone in 2016 was the successful completion of the first live 5G experiment using millimeter waves (mmWave). This showcase was the first of its kind in the MENA region with Etisalat becoming the first telco globally to test speeds of 71Gbps setting a new global record in data transfer speed using e-band and massive MIMO technology.

The foundation of the commercial launch was laid in 2017, where Etisalat was one of the operators globally to launch a pre-commercial 5G network in certain areas of the country demonstrating high-speed use cases in addition to the low latency feature of the 5G technology.

Looking back at every step of the successful 5G journey, all the efforts have yielded results with the country crowned globally for 5G achievements. UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi was ranked among the fastest capitals globally in the 5G network index with the fastest median download speeds (421.26Mbps) in the first half of 2021. This remarkable achievement for the UAE reflects the ongoing efforts of Etisalat and its investments to build one of the most advanced 5G networks in the region and the world. The deployment of 5G across industries and sectors leads the way to digital transformation in UAE, pushing it to the forefront with a network that is future ready for the next generation of mobile technologies.

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