The testing concentrated on overcoming the challenges of indoor connectivity
The Saudi Telecom Company and Huawei have completed the Middle East’s first indoor 5G testing using 3.5GHz spectrum, according to regional press reports.
During the tests in the Saudi city of Dammam, STC used 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum over its 5G network, achieving download speeds of 1.3Gbps.
The tests were specifically aimed at covering challenging indoor environments and mark a key step in the move towards the rollout of commercial 5G mobile services in the region.
The Middle East is a strong growth market for Huawei, who is involved in 5G rollout programmes in Saudi Arabia, The UAE and Qatar. So far, the Chinese tech vendor has landed 9 commercial 5G contracts in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In its recent Mobile 5G Commercialisation report, analysis firm GlobalData predicted that Middle Eastern telcos would be among the first to successfully rollout 5G services to their customers. The report also predicted that mobile 5G subscriptions in the MENA region would hit 15.8 million within 4 years.
STC, Etisalat, Du, Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar have all committed to launch 5G mobile services in 2019, as the region looks to cement its growing reputation as a hub for telecoms innovation.
Also in the news:
GSMA: Middle Eastern telcos will lead on 5G