Etisalat launches LTE network in UAE

LTE-FDD technology will allow mobile broadband speeds up to 100 Mbps

Tags: Etisalat International - UAELTEUnited Arab Emirates
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Etisalat launches LTE network in UAE The new network will offer increased mobile broadband speeds.
By  Roger Field Published  September 25, 2011

UAE telco Etisalat has soft launched its LTE network in the country, and said the full commercial launch will be announced within a few weeks.

The network is the first in the Middle East to be based on LTE-FDD technology, which allows for fully mobile broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Etisalat has already deployed about 600 LTE base stations covering the UAE's major cities.

Nasser bin Obood, acting chief executive of Etisalat, said that the telco has spent AED6 billion ($1.63 billion) on its LTE and fibre optic network, although the company refused to give a specific sum for the investment made in the LTE network alone.

The new LTE network allows for download speeds of more than double that of the telco's previous mobile networks.

Etisalat worked with three network vendors on the deployment: Alcatel-Lucent deployed the network in Abu Dhabi, Ericsson worked on the network in "New" Dubai areas, while Huawei covered "Old" Dubai and the Northern Emirates, a source from one of the vendors told CommsMEA.

Saeed Al Zarouni, senior vice president of mobile networks, Etisalat, said that the current coverage is just the first phase of deployment. "Other areas will be covered in the second phase," he said. "We will have 1,000 sites by the end of the year, and 1,700 sites in 2012."

He added that Etisalat would also continue to deploy the LTE network in buildings in the next phase of expansion. He said that about 60 building will be covered by the end of 2011, and 400 building will be covered by early 2012.

Internet users who want to use the LTE service on their mobile phone or tablet will have to wait for at least six months for compatible devices to enter the market, according to Matthew Wilshire, chief marketing officer, Etisalat.

When the network is first launched, subscribers will have to use dongles to use the service on their laptops.

Etisalat's move follows similar LTE announcements by three Saudi Arabian operators of Mobily, a unit of Etisalat, STC and Zain KSA last week.

However, Wilshire stressed that Etisalat's launch was the first fully mobile LTE network in the Middle East.

2339 days ago
abdalla june

This is the last of ETislalat.they have launcehed there last highest technology now The great company is silently and tactfully being brought to its knees by western ideas.who are out to reap the messive wealth that etisalat was .they first started by forcing that a competitor must be introduced to compete ,they registered DU together with locals.twhen etisalat begun to loose to DU they introduced new ideas which management thought they have to implement to match Du.etislalt begun by slashing salaries,reducing employees.outsourceing services and looking for partners.while the western man undre mackensy consoltants,Elite security awestern owne ,ericsson a swedish owner and Du western IDeas what has remaiined for etisalat is to sell their wealth as the individuals gain by colluding with the west the national budget is reduced since the west indirectly gets the returns,they are left as watching only while all the work will be controlled from the western mind who gives them their share and take their share ....its better late than never its upon UAE if they follow the western ideology or follow arab ideaology.western ideas makes the gap between the rich and the poor very wide.but arab mind is modorate and tries to be fair to all

2435 days ago
Nahla Mustafa

I want to know more details about the 3GPP release used because I visited Alcatel Lucent last year and till that time R10 is still under research.

2485 days ago

Good service, Competitive price and Monopoly doesn't sync together. I as a mobile user when I am abroad (Europe or US) use mobile 3G 24x7, but when I am back in UAE only use my mobile 3G in weekends. I am sure usage prices for mobile LTE will be sky rocket!

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