5G technology
The 5G network also made it possible to experience and access data heavy applications in the country. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Abu Dhabi ranks among the fastest capital cities in the 5G network index, powering the fastest median download speeds (421.26Mbps) in the first-half of 2021, according to the latest data from Ookla, the broadband and mobile network testing app. The emirate is also home to the fastest mobile network on earth on an overall basis.

“5G is a powerful catalyst for digital transformation bringing new opportunities to various industries and the country,” said Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). “The availability and access to the super-fast speeds on 5G is a huge accomplishment that reflects the continuous efforts of both operators and their innovative approach during today’s extraordinary times.

“With the UAE leading as the fastest fixed network in MEA and fastest mobile network globally, this further highlights the country’s readiness to attract the best in world-class talent and global conglomerates from across sectors showcasing the significance of an advanced state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure contributing to UAE’s economic growth and leadership on a global platform.”

Another achievement recorded in the UAE was both Abu Dhabi (421.26Mbps) and Dubai (417.07 Mbps) median download speeds featuring in the special ‘Global 5G Benchmark Report’ that focused on major cities measuring 5G performance and availability in the first half of 2021.

Future uptake depends on faster launches of 5G-enabled smartphones

This ranking is attributed to the long-term planning and investment of Etisalat and du in the rapid deployment of 5G sites and jointly working with regulatory authorities to assign the needed spectrum to cater for the demand of high capacity. An end-to-end participation and preparation from both operators supported the early adoption as well as meeting requirements of international standards from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/ 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group said, “This remarkable achievement for the UAE reflects the ongoing efforts of Etisalat and its investments to build one of the most advanced 5G networks in the region and the world. The deployment of 5G across industries and sectors leads the way to digital transformation in UAE, pushing it to the forefront with a network that is future ready for the next generation of mobile technologies.”

With vertical and horizontal city expansion in the UAE, high mobile indoor penetration enhancement enabled the deployment of in-building solutions and small cells for better mobile availability anytime, everywhere. The 5G network also made it possible to experience and access data heavy applications in the country.

Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC or du), said: “5G technology, and its enormous potential, is key to pioneering the digital economy and keeping pace with the requirements of smart transformation, as it supports a variety of solutions, applications and other technologies that enable better services to residents and business communities. Our mission at du is to continue to harness all our resources to facilitate the business sector as well as individual customers in the UAE to benefit from 5G technology and contribute towards economic growth and prosperity.”