5G-capable smartphones expected by June 2019: Ooredoo Qatar CEO
May 14 2018 09:35 PM
Senior Ooredoo executives among others during the announcement on the live 5G network
Senior Ooredoo executives among others during the announcement on the live 5G network

Handset manufacturers have committed 5G-capable smartphones by June 2019, said Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed Mohamed al-Sayed.

“5G-capable smartphones are essential for people to enjoy and experience Ooredoo’s 5G network, which is now live,” al-Sayed told Gulf Times on Monday.

Ooredoo has become the first operator in the world to launch a live 5G network on the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

Ooredoo’s 5G network is the first commercially available 5G network in the world and is an important technological breakthrough for the telecommunications industry worldwide.

Within a month, al-Sayed said, Ooredoo would be able to provide Customer Premise Equipment or CPE, a terminal device that supports 5G. CPE will provide customers with a wireless Wi-Fi for a speed of 1gigabyte, he said.

“It is a race among telecom companies around the world to bring 5G commercially. At Ooredoo, we managed to launch it commercially, ahead of others, and for the very first time in the world.

“It is very important for us because our country is set to host major global events such as the FIFA World Cup 2022,” al-Sayed said.

He said Ooredoo would bring a “group of use cases” as “we strive to become an expert of use cases.”

“During the Emir Cup later this month, we will showcase another use case. There are many use cases in the world and they benefit sport events among others.”

Use cases are integral elements in the development of 5G technology and the attendant 5G standards development process. Different use cases will have different network requirements – sometimes vastly different, so business plans and network upgrades must progress hand-in-hand.

Asked how fast the 5G would be (compared to 4G+, which Qatar provides now), al-Sayed said, “4G+ takes up to 256 Mbps, whereas 5G is 10Gbps. So 5G is really super-fast.”

He said, “5G is a crucial and essential part of our digitisation strategy…it is a crucial part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the smart services. Without 5G you cannot have these things.”

“When you have 5G, you can have smart services all over the nation, thereby improving people’s lives by providing applications that meet all their needs.”

Initially, al-Sayed said some 100 Ooredoo base stations in Qatar would be equipped with antennas that support the 5G service. Ultimately, we will reach our entire 1,200 base stations.”

Asked whether the 5G service would be rolled out in Ooredoo Group countries as well, al-Sayed, who is also the Group Deputy CEO, said, “Yes, we plan to roll out 5G in our group countries, depending on their capabilities and also the handset availability. But right now our priority is Qatar.”



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