UAE-based Etisalat said it plans to be the first to launch a commercial 5G network in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This follows the launch in December 2017 of a pre-commercial 5G network in certain areas of the UAE to demonstrate high-speed use cases. In the first phase of the launch, 5G fixed wireless services (fixed and internet services) will be provided in selected locations in the UAE. These will gradually expand to other parts of the country depending on consumer demand and requirements. The commercial fixed devices and services will be available for consumers starting from September.
The Etisalat network will offer one of the first 5G CPE devices in the world, and 5G-enabled smartphones will be available by next year. Etisalat has showcased downlink throughput of more than 5Gbps on the site level and more than 1.5Gbps on the commercial CPE device.