Nokia GSM
Soon it will be time to say an adieu to GSM networks in the UAE. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: The UAE will bid goodbye to the 2G telecom network, which is based on the GSM platform. The shutdown will start from end 2022, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

In its stead, more resources will be allocated to state-of-the-art 5G networks and bring them up to speed. The UAE was the fourth country to launch 5G networks.

“UAE service providers will provide all means of support to groups that may be affected by the 2G shutdown,” the regulator said in a statement. "Telecommunications companies must stop operating the least effective networks to allow the operation and activation of the most effective networks."

“We have witnessed the level of development in mobile networks where generations have progressed from the first to the fifth generation,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director-General. “Thus, it is highly important for telecom service providers to stop operating less effective networks to allow the operation and activation of the latest and most effective networks.”

Of 1994 vintage

The UAE's 2G network (based on GSM) was commissioned in 1994, and still remains "effective, despite the succession of network generations up to 5G," the regulator added.

“Today, we are on the threshold of a new era characterized by comprehensive digital transformation, Internet of Things and smart city, where a faster, stronger and more capable network is needed to withstand the communication between vast numbers of devices,” the official added.