The UAE’s Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has taken a leading position in the world of mobile broadband by successfully testing speeds of up to 300 megabits per second (Mbps) on its Fourth Generation, Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) network about a week ago and the service provider now aims to fully cover the nation’s populated areas on this network within the next two to three years, a top-ranking Etisalat official said.
“This is doubling the speed of 150 Mbps, we currently have on our 4G network and it is going to be demonstrated during Gitex,” Saeed Y. Abdulla Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President — Mobile Networks at Etisalat told Gulf News during an interview in the capital, commenting on the successful speed testing on the mobile broadband.
He said as many as 100 buildings in the UAE, including the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, are now covered by Etisalat’s 4G LTE network and there would be a countrywide expansion in its coverage area, in phases . “By 2015, we are aiming to have more than 99 per cent population coverage on the 4G LTE, similar to that of 3G levels,” said Zarouni.
In late 2011, Etisalat was one of the first telecommunication providers in the world to launch a 4G LTE network using 1800 MHZ and 2.6 GHZ bands with a population coverage of 80 per cent.In the first phase of its 4G LTE rollout, Etisalat had deployed around 1,000 base stations.
Al Zarouni said the customers will be able to enjoy 300 Mbps speed upon availability of devices, which are expected to come to the market, next year.
“From the network point of view, we are ready. However, currently, the 4G devices available in the market offer speeds of up to 100 Mbps only whereas the 3G devices that are available offer speeds of only up to 42 Mbps,” said Al Zarouni.
“With increase in smartphone devices compatible with 4G, we will see growth in 4G network users. There are various data plan packages and devices available with Etisalat to choose from,” he added.