190411 oppo tech
5G-enabled smartphones will soon be available to UAE consumers. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is working with Etisalat to deliver 5G smartphones to the UAE market, it has been announced.

According to Zhang Zhi, 5G expert from Oppo, the Asian company is teaming up with the UAE telecom services provider to test the compatibility of its 5G smartphones with Etisalat’s 5G network.

It will be the first test to be done between the mobile carrier and Chinese manufacturer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Zhi shared the details of Oppo’s collaboration with Etisalat during the 5G Middle East and North Africa (Mena) summit on Tuesday.

“This year is the first of 5G commercialisation and is set to be a game-changer that revolutionizes the smartphone industry,” said Andy Shi, president of Oppo Middle East and Africa.

“While the underlying 5G network infrastructure is vital to a connected future, the capacity of super-powerful 5G networks only matters when people can leverage these benefits in their everyday lives,” Shi said.

Etisalat had earlier announced it is ready to launch 5G service in the UAE this year. As of February, the company’s technical teams were installing 600 5G sites to enable 5G coverage across the country, according to Saeed Al Zarouni, Etisalat’s senior vice president for mobile networks.

“Our network and infrastructure will be ready to provide the service as soon as the 5G mobile handsets are available in UAE,” Al Zarouni said.

Oppo had recently launched its “5G Landing Project” with several operator partners to accelerate the commercialisation of 5G products and services worldwide.

The company has so far obtained more than 1,000 global patents related to 5G technology, and partnered with industry heavyweights such as chipmaker Qualcomm on their ‘5G Pioneer’ initiative.

The company has been ranked among the top five smartphone brands in the world and in January 2019, it opened its second regional hub within the UAE, making Dubai its new centre for operations in the Mena region.