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Du pledges readiness for 5G technology

Alvin R. Cabral - Staff Reporter
Filed on June 16, 2015

Dus recent launch of the first LTE-Advanced live network in the UAE forms a significant step on the road towards 5G.

Dubai — Du knows what it takes to implement new technologies, which is why the company is confident that it has what it takes to deliver top-line services for a future technology.

The Middle East’s fastest-growing telecommunications operator on Monday held a Telecom Knowledge Series session focusing on the fifth-generation of mobile networks, discussing the latest updates and trends related to this emerging technology more popularly known as 5G.

The event highlighted du’s paper on 5G standardisation, titled ‘Proposal to launch the 5G studies in SG13’, which was recently approved by the International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, the agency of the United Nations responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies.

“Du’s recent launch of the first LTE-Advanced live network in the UAE forms a significant step on the road towards 5G,” Saleem AlBalooshi, du’s executive vice-president of network development and operations, said.

“We are proud of our successful contribution to the ITU Study Group and we believe that it cements our objective to be the first in the market for pioneering technologies that pave the way towards a 5G future.”

One thing that those in the telecommunications industry want to clear is that so far, there are no defined set of rules or specifications for 5G; in theory, the upcoming mobile generation is slated to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps — up from today’s reported maximum speed of 300Mbps.

The ITU is the forum where these standards — such as what band, frequency, protocol, characteristics, etc — are set; du expects these to be finalised in 2016, and by 2017 different trials should be set forth.

Du, AlBalooshi stresses, is ready for any eventuality. “We have been preparing the infrastructure [for 5G], making it ready to cope with expected bandwidth capacity, resources, latency and applications that will be on top of that infrastructure,” he told
Khaleej Times. “We are continuing to improve our infrastructure to cope with those demands — and in a smart way,” he added.

“We are investing in the right places where it will give us an edge as we are evolving towards the future,” he added.

AlBalooshi says du is determined to be one of the early adopters of 5G, and that the company is “putting all the plans and required investment” for it today.

Du’s Telecom Knowledge Series session pointed out that 5G should be viewed as the future solution for providing next-generation mobile services to people and devices. The infrastructure provided by 5G networks will have the ability to support a very large number of connected devices, always provide online connectivity, operate for optimum energy efficiency and support fliexible air interfaces.

AlBalooshi also discussed du’s investments for long-term strategies, such as modernising data centres and the acceleration of its fibre rollout.

alvin@khaleejtimes.com





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