Network & Technology

etisalat by e& conducts first 6GHz test in MENA region

03 Aug 2022

Abu Dhabi: Etisalat UAE, branded as etisalat by e&, today announced the successful completion of its first trial of the 6GHz spectrum, creating history by taking this monumental step for the future of 5G, opening up a world of possibilities for next-generation technologies and economies of the future.

This trial conducted with Huawei Technologies was integral in today’s technology evolution as full speed and capabilities of 5G depend on mid-band spectrum that secures performance in the long term and adds more capacity if required. Here, 6GHz plays a critical role, especially considering the use of mobile technologies has grown exponentially, devices have become more powerful, and services more diverse for both consumers and enterprises. With bandwidth-hungry applications, the number of connected devices per person has also increased, which means more bandwidth will be required to limit service degradation and deliver a good quality of experience.

The 6 GHz range is a mid-band frequency and sits at a balancing point between coverage and capacity, providing the perfect environment for 5G connectivity. Extending the bandwidth of 5G through the harmonisation of 6 GHz spectrum will provide more bandwidth and improve network performance. On top of this, the broad, contiguous channels offered by the 6 GHz range will reduce the need for network densification and make next-generation connectivity more affordable for all.

Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO), Etisalat UAE, said: “5G allows the industry to support national digital transformation goals by providing reliable, high capacity, low latency, and wide-area connectivity to consumers and industries. The metaverse is opening untapped opportunities with hyper-personalised experiences powered by AI. Telcos will be the entry point to the metaverse because of connectivity but also because the customer wants access to a digital world. The future is powered by AI and analytics, with metaverse playing a role yet to be defined. This kind of technology disruption will create challenges but simultaneously bring massive prospects to this dynamic industry.

The trial for 6GHz was influenced by these future market requirements as we foresee a significant growth accelerated by these applications. As a digital telco, we focus on our core while curating digital experiences that maximise engagement by building new capabilities across AI and digital to thrive in an increasingly competitive and ever-changing market environment.”

The focus on 6GHz is also in line with etisalat by e&’s future roadmap as part of the e& group transformation drive to become a global technology conglomerate. Its partnerships with global tech companies like Meta are a testimony to the continuous drive for innovation by working together on metaverse technologies, use cases that integrate with the latest Meta products and solutions, consumer channel digitalisation, enhancing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and conversational commerce throughout its digital communication plans.

The metaverse will require seamless mobility enabled by macro-cellular networks relying on mid-band spectrum such as the 6GHz band. In this scenario, as an example, XR (extended reality) headsets will require sufficient bandwidth on 5G smartphones to connect to these networks. At etisalat by e&, there has been remarkable progress in 5G implementation and connections across the country.

5G is the enabler of the future digital society and the foundation for the digital economy. According to GSMA's latest report, 5G will bring an economic contribution of $700 billion to society in 2030. At the end of March 2022, 5G services have been launched in more than 70 countries, with more than 220 5G networks being deployed, and more than 700 million 5G users.

5G use cases today accelerate digital transformation across industries and sectors, unleashing new waves of innovation that will benefit billions. 5G networks and technologies support next-generation industry 4.0 and implementations in health care and transport, all depending on bandwidth, coverage and capacity.

With 6GHz, new 5G projects can bring innovative and creative applications to society with faster, more reliable mobile broadband. They thus enable new applications and services, fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G to connect consumers and businesses at fibre-like speeds away from last-mile fibre, next-generation industrial automation transforming processes, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and improving safety. In healthcare and transport, speed and latency capabilities make advanced telemedicine with remote surgery possible, while connected transport is enabled along with highly efficient public transport networks.

etisalat by e& has been also working towards meeting the various requirements of IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) set by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and the World Radio communication Conference to be held in 2023 in UAE. This is in line with various countries undergoing similar trials supporting the spectrum for IMT along with other regulators and operators.