A clutch of Middle Eastern telcos are ready to lead the world on 5G, according to a recent report by the GSMA

Dubai based telco, Du, is aiming to rollout 5G services across the UAE in the second half of 2019, according to reports in the press.

Du conducted a series of Massive MIMO tests in 2017 and 2018 and is now set to press ahead with its nationwide 5G rollout plans.

"To enable 5G, we have multiple initiatives. Fibreisation is an important initiative. It improves latency and reliability. It enables us to provide higher throughput. So, increasing our fibre footprint nationwide in the UAE – that is our top priority.

"Our second strategy direction is the enabling of our network for network function virtualisation. The cloudification and orchestration capabilities will enable us to provide network slicing capabilities," said Saleem Al Blooshi, chief infrastructure officer, for Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du) in a recent promotional video with Nokia.

Both Du and the UAE’s other mobile network operator, Etisalat, will be looking to get their 5G offerings into the market in good time for the Dubai Expo 2020 event, which will showcase Dubai’s credentials as a serious player in the international smart city and connectivity markets.

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