UAE to release 700-800MHz band for mobile data
New spectrum bands will secure mobile broadband growth in the UAE
The UAE TRA last week said that it planned to release spectrum in 700 MHz - 800 MHz band for mobile broadband services.
"The TRA believes that allocating these bands to mobile broadband with the equivalent global device ecosystems will best serve the UAE public interest, driving down costs and minimising interference along borders," the regulator said.
The regulator said it would combine the 800 MHz band plan for Europe, Middle East and Africa with the Asia Pacific 700 MHz band. This will make the UAE the first country in the ITU Region 1 to reap the benefits of both bands, which will support affordable network rollout, benefitting more people with mobile broadband connectivity, according to the TRA.
H.E. Majed Al Mesmar, deputy director general for telecommunications sector, said: "By maximising the spectrum for mobile broadband in harmony with the growing economies of scale for both bands, the TRA decision will enable nearly global interoperability and roaming.
"The UAE is predicting a rising demand for global harmonisation of the APT 700 MHz band benefitting in the growing ecosystem of devices from Asia Pacific across the Middle East and Africa, through to Latin America," he added.
The news was welcomed by UAE incumbent Etisalat, which commended the TRA on the development. Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, CEO, Etisalat Group, said: "This paves the way for greatly improved performance in the delivery of mobile broadband services. When coupled with a comprehensive ICT policy and accompanying regulations, this decision enables the rapid growth of mobile broadband services and all the supporting businesses."
The TRA's decision puts the UAE ahead of other countries in the Gulf, many of which are heading towards a possible mobile data "crunch" unless they free up additional spectrum, according to the GSMA.