Etisalat, Ericsson partner on 5G development
Local telco asserts desire to be first Middle Eastern operator to roll out next-gen technology
Etisalat Group and Ericsson have entered into a partnership to develop 5G mobile technology, the two companies announced today.
The aim of the partnership is to exchange knowledge and share solutions with each other, the firms said in a statement. The two will also work on licence assisted access (LAA) technology, which allows current-gen 4G networks to provide data speeds of 450 Mbps.
While 5G tests have been conducted, allowing for 115 Gbps data transmission rates, standards are not yet finalised and the technology is a long way from being available to consumers. However, Etisalat claimed that it wants to be the first operator in the Middle East to roll out a 5G network as and when the technology is fully developed.
"Our belief in mobile broadband and dedication to innovation drives us to be the first telco to roll out 5G," said Hatem Bamatraf, CTO at Etisalat Group.
"Partnership is essential to bringing 5G to the market and, through our collaboration with Ericsson, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the full potential of 5G, and subsequently, accelerate the transition to a Networked Society."
For Ericsson, the partnership is an opportunity to discover new use cases for 5G, and to evolve existing technologies. It is also interested in working out how to build a smooth transition from 4G to 5G - something it needs to partner with network operators for.
"With this enormous transformation that our industry is witnessing, Etisalat has a significant role to play - not just in the evolution of communication, but in the evolution of businesses and society as a whole," said Rafiah Ibrahim, president of Ericsson Middle East and East Africa.
"Through our strategic partnership today, we will explore together with Etisalat the possibilities and opportunities that 5G technology brings."