The UAE will be one of the first countries in the world to launch fully commercialised end-to-end 5G network services

Emirati telco, Etisalat, has announced that it will invest AED4 billion (£860 million) in upgrading its mobile network infrastructure in 2019.

"The upgrade will cover the company’s mobile phone and fibre optic networks, along with infrastructure development as well as Etisalat’s G5 network," Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, senior vice president corporate communication, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on Thursday.

"Etisalat embarked on its 5G journey in 2014 and last year the first commercial 5G wireless network in the UAE was launched with speeds as much as 20 times faster than 4G," he added.

The majority of the investment will go towards upgrading and densifying the company’s 5G networks, but some will also be invested in their fixed line, fibre to the home, network.

"5G is now a reality due to Etisalat’s continuous efforts in building and investing in future networks to enable innovation, and accelerating digital transformation. We are pleased to have partnered with Ericsson to provide a platform for UAE residents to experience 5G and IoT innovation firsthand and to meet experts discussing the latest trends and technologies shaping the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, industry today and in the future. This is in line with our strategy to ‘Drive the Digital Future to empower societies’, Saeed Al Zarouni, senior vice president for Mobile Networks at Etisalat, told WAM.

The UAE was one of the first countries in the world to complete its 5G networks and is due to launch 5G compatible handsets and services later this month.

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