Nowadays, 5G has become one of the hottest topics in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
The discussion revolves around 5G’s limitless possibilities, and its impact on everything from the various aspects of our daily lives to the implementation of national strategies relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, artificial intelligence and smart cities.
While many countries have been struggling to explore this new technology and how they could adopt it, the UAE has come a long way in obtaining and implementing it to develop plans, strategies and future projects.
The UAE Government realized that any vision for the future would be meaningless without 5G because, in the future, there would be a great need for rapid transfer of data and artificial intelligence technologies. With data speeds of up to 20MB per second, talking about self-driving cars and remote surgical operations sounds more realistic.
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had started its preparations for 5G at an early stage. In 2016, it had a clear roadmap for the early launch of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020).
In the same year, TRA established a Steering Committee headed by its Director General in the supervisory and leadership role, and 3 committees to develop standards and specifications for the use of 5G in cooperation with operators, manufacturers, academics, and international organizations. This enabled TRA to determine the uses of 5G and how to achieve its utmost benefit.
In March 2018, TRA allocated 200 MHz of frequency spectrum to operators to deploy the 5G services. In May 2018, the UAE successfully became the first in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch 5G in its commercial form to the public.
By the end of 2019, TRA developed a national strategy for 5G for the years 2020 to 2025, one of the first of its kind in the region, in cooperation and coordination with all stakeholders. The strategy identified the target sectors for the deployment of 5G, the frequencies used, and the specifications of the devices compatible with 5G.
The launch of the strategy coincided with the first-of-its-kind 5G conference, which was held under the slogan “the next revolution” and during which, TRA hosted international experts in various related fields.
This year, TRA allocated additional 200 MHz of spectrum to its operators, in order to expand the 5G networks, which is set to bring the number of base stations to more than 1500 by the end of 2020 in the various regions of the country.
Today, the UAE has a clear vision on how to use 5G in various aspects of life, and has already started using these technologies in real terms.
The UAE is proud to be one of few countries that have introduced 5G applications in its communications system, and proud that 5G covers more than 30 per cent of its urban areas on an average. The coverage in Abu Dhabi city is 60 per cent and in some areas such as Expo 2020, Global Village and Yas Formula 1 Circuit, the 5G coverage is 100 per cent.
With the wise leadership announcing 2020 as the year of preparation towards the next 50 years, TRA began to develop its plans and strategies based on the unlimited potential of 5G.
The UAE is proud of its achievements in the application of 5G and ready to collaborate with all brothers and sisters and friends around the world to spread this technology and use it in the service of humanity, happiness, and prosperity in all societies.