UAE telco du is working with Nokia to trial 3GPP standardised 5G New Radio non-standalone technology.
The aim is to subsequently deploy live 5G sites in selected areas in the UAE. The initiative is in line with the UAE Telecom Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) vision to bring 5G services to the country in 2018. du is part of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC).
The du-Nokia live network trials aim to achieve up to 5 Gbits/s throughput. This kind of high throughput and ultra-low latency will enable extreme broadband for industrial applications and use-cases such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), e-health, machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and critical communications to enable smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT), and many more previously-unconceivable use cases.
This collaboration aims to test available 5G-ready products from Nokia, including its AirScale radio platform and Massive MIMO Antenna based on 3GPP Rel.15 New Radio non-standalone architecture. In addition, it aims to leverage Nokia’s recently announced chipset ReefShark for the evolution of du’s network to provide the 5G network of the future.
“TRA’s vision has been the guiding force for our telecommunications sector, and we have been pioneering to introduce advanced services, that has led to the evolution of ICT, and delighting our customers across the country,” commented Saleem AlBlooshi, EITC’s Chief Infrastructure Officer. “We have been collaborating with Nokia to develop 5G technology since 2015, and look forward to continue working with Nokia to usher in 5G era in 2018. As EITC group brands, both du and Virgin Mobile customers will eventually benefit from this development. This announcement takes du and virgin mobile customers closer to the 5G era.”
On the evolutionary path to 5G development and deployment, du and Nokia signed an MoU on 5G partnership in Oct 2015 and showcased 10 Gbits/s speed using mmWave band. Continuing their collaborative efforts, the two companies successfully tested Nokia’s TWDM-PON technology to achieve 40 Gbits/s in December 2016. They also demonstrated Middle East's first 4K 3D 360 virtual reality video streaming using 5G-ready network with massive MIMO technology at GITEX in October 2016, showcased 5G industrial robot and live streaming using Nokia OZO camera at GITEX in October 2017, and trialled Nokia’s Software Defined Access Network (SDAN) that establishes the foundation essentials for 5G.