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UAE allocates new frequency to boost 5G services roll-out

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The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced on Tuesday the allocation of a new frequency band that allows telecom operators to expand the application of 5G.

Frequencies in the millimetre wave range between 24.25-27.5 GHz have been allocated to the development of 5G networks, the first in the Middle East and North Africa to allocate this range.

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Experts believe there will be 30 million 5G mobile subscriptions in the Middle East by 2024, with operators promising that download speeds will be 10 to 20 times faster than we have now.

The band will be allocated in two phases based on the equipment availability, state news agency WAM reported.

The first phase started at the beginning of September, in which the frequency band 26.5-27.5 GHz was allocated to the operators.

The second phase will start in the third quarter of 2021, through which 1 GHz will be allocated per operator in the 25.5-27.5 GHz range.

The new 1 GHz bandwidth will provide each of the mobile operators with an opportunity to enhance and develop wireless broadband services using 5G technologies in terms of speed and data volume compared to 4G.

It will also provide other additional features such as higher rates to transfer data per second and enhanced communications capacity per square kilometre, while ensuring the quality of services and increasing performance efficiency compared to previous generations.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA director-general, said: “This decision comes in line with the UAE Strategy for 5G and beyond (2020-2025), as the provision of the frequency spectrum for 5G contributes to building a high-standard global communication platform and enabling the UAE to use and apply the latest ICT, to provide global standards services, achieve long-term social and economic benefits in various areas such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and education.”

He added: “We spare no effort to develop the telecommunications sector and achieve equitable access to the required resources of the frequency spectrum, to promote the deployment of 5G in the UAE, and thus develop smart services, accelerate the process of digital transformation and achieve sustainable development goals.”

In October last year, UAE telecoms giant Etisalat successfully completed the first end-to-end 5G stand-alone mobile phone call in the Middle East and North Africa, becoming the first operator in the region to achieve the milestone.