ROUNDUP: GULF 5G PLANS

What Gulf na­tions have an­nounced what with 5G roll­out plants? We take a look.

Comms MEA - - Feature -

UNITED ARAB EMI­RATES

Both du and Eti­salat have been push­ing hard for na­tion­wide 5G cov­er­age – and have in­vested large amounts to­wards the in­fra­struc­ture re­quired. At Expo 2020 – be­gin­ning in Oc­to­ber 2020 in Dubai – Eti­salat has an­nounced it will be pro­vid­ing free 5G WiFi for all vis­i­tors.

BAHRAIN

VIVA Bahrain has been es­pe­cially ag­gres­sive in push­ing for a 5G roll­out. Back in 2017, Batelco and Eric­s­son con­ducted the first 5G tri­als in Bahrain.

KUWAIT

Op­er­a­tor Zain has been in­vest­ing heav­ily in 5G, and has claimed its 5G net­work will be avail­able to the pub­lic in 2019. VIVA Kuwait and other op­er­a­tors have also an­nounced 5G plans.

OMAN

Oman’s Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (TRA) has formed a na­tional-level team – which in­cludes mem­bers from the TRA and mo­bile net­work op­er­a­tors in the Sul­tanate – to de­velop a 5G strat­egy, in­clud­ing how to tackle chal­lenges that could arise dur­ing the roll-out. It is es­ti­mated 5G will not be rolled out be­fore 2020, how­ever.

SAUDI ARA­BIA

In 2018, the east­ern Saudi city Al Kho­bar has be­come the first city in the MENA re­gion to test a 5G net­work. Op­er­a­tor STC is now work­ing on rolling out 5G across the coun­try, be­gin­ning in the east­ern re­gion. Says STC Group CEO Eng. Nasser Al Nasser: “We have the con­fi­dence, knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion that will en­able us to lead the 5G era.”

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