Etisalat sees June arrival for 5G devices in UAE

Senior telecoms exec tells Arab Media Forum Etisalat's 5G network is fully ready.
5G, UAE, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, ETISALAT, HH Sheikh Mohammed, Khalifa Alshamsi, Arab Media Forum

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A portion of Dubai Marina as seen from Media City tram station. Photo credit: Ben Mack

UAE-based telecom provider Etisalat has announced that its 5G network is fully ready and consumers will be able to get hands-on experience when 5G-enabled smartphones are rolled out in the market.

Khalifa Alshamsi, group chief corporate strategy and governance officer at Etisalat, was speaking at the 18th edition of the Arab Media Forum last week.

“We are expecting new 5G-enabled devices by June. That’s when consumers will get to experience the real 5G. We have already fully deployed the network,” said Alshamsi.

Commenting on the role of technology in the media sector, he added that the leaders in the Arab World are at the forefront of using social media, led by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has the largest number of followers.   

He said the latest emerging technology could completely transform the way news is gathered and delivered to the audience.

“The evolution of mobile technology has also played a role in the way news is delivered. Mobile started off with voice services and then came messaging. The third generation used the internet and with the 4G came speed. Last year, we saw advancements in 5G and we started testing it in May 2018,” said Alshamsi, adding that 5G will enable news and media organisations to instantly broadcast content-rich multimedia in real time.

Media organisations, he said, can also use tools such as drones and autonomous vehicles that are powered by 5G to facilitate better reporting.

“Let’s just look at new technology like augmented reality or virtual reality. It is just a matter of time before news content is customised with these technologies. In the past, the hologram was just science fiction. Now it is for real and is being tested." he added.

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