ABU DHABI 30 July 2021: United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi ranks among the fastest capitals globally in the 5G network index, with the fastest median download speeds (421.26Mbps) in the first half of 2021, according to the latest data from Ookla, a global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis.
This recent achievement is yet another feather in the UAE’s cap as not only Abu Dhabi has emerged among the top three fastest 5G capitals in the world, but is also home to the fastest mobile network on earth on an overall basis, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) said on Thursday.
Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director General of the TDRA, said, “This global achievement is a testimony to UAE leadership’s vision and commitment in bringing the country to the forefront, taking a lead in the ICT sector while being the most advanced country in digital innovation.
“5G is a huge leap forward and a powerful catalyst for digital transformation bringing new opportunities to various industries and the country. The availability and access to the super-fast speeds on 5G is a huge accomplishment that reflects the continuous efforts of both operators and their innovative approach during today’s extraordinary times. Hence, I would like to thank the service providers in the UAE (Etisalat and Du) for their efforts in deploying 5G networks, which contributed to this achievement,” he said.
“With the UAE leading as the fastest fixed network in MEA [the Middle East and Africa] and fastest mobile network globally, this further highlights the country’s readiness to attract the best in world-class talent and global conglomerates from across sectors, showcasing the significance of an advanced state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure contributing to UAE’s economic growth and leadership on a global platform,” Al Mesmar said.
Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat Group, said, “This remarkable achievement for the UAE reflects the ongoing efforts of Etisalat and its investments to build one of the most advanced 5G networks in the region and the world. The deployment of 5G across industries and sectors leads the way to digital transformation in UAE, pushing it to the forefront with a network that is future-ready for the next generation of mobile technologies.
“The continuous support of wise leadership of the UAE has played a critical role throughout Etisalat’s journey and the development of the telecom sector, setting a great motivation for us to continue deploying the latest innovative technologies and enriching the digital experience of customers while transforming communities.”
Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), said, “As we continue our relentless efforts to expand the 5G network across the UAE, we are proud to celebrate this milestone achievement made possible with the support of all stakeholders. du aims to upgrade the telecommunications sector and develop digital infrastructure in line with the directives of UAE leadership to consolidate the position of the UAE as a global centre for technology, innovation and business.
He added, “5G technology, and its enormous potential, is key to pioneering the digital economy and keeping pace with the requirements of smart transformation, as it supports a variety of solutions, applications and other technologies that enable better services to residents and business communities. Our mission at du is to continue to harness all our resources to facilitate the business sector as well as individual customers in the UAE to benefit from 5G technology and contribute towards economic growth and prosperity.”
Another noteworthy achievement recorded in the UAE was both Abu Dhabi (421.26Mbps) and Dubai (417.07 Mbps) median download speeds featuring in the special ‘Global 5G Benchmark Report’ that focused on major cities globally measuring 5G performance and availability in the first half of 2021.
Rapid deployment of 5G sites
This ranking is attributed to the long-term planning and investment of both operators in the rapid deployment of 5G sites and jointly working with regulatory authorities to assign the needed spectrum to cater for the demand of high capacity in cities. End-to-end participation and preparation from both operators supported the early adoption of new technologies and enabled swifter customer experience enhancements as well as meeting requirements of international standards from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/ 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
With vertical and horizontal city expansion in the UAE, high mobile indoor penetration enhancement enabled the deployment of in-building solutions and small cells for better mobile availability anytime, everywhere. The 5G network also made it possible to experience and access data-heavy applications in the country. This transformed the telecom network to state-of-the-art infrastructure, supporting emerging technologies such as IoT, cloud, big data, AI, robotics and AR/VR supporting transformation in a digitally disrupted and fully connected world.
Both operators Etisalat and du were continuously involved in focused studies on network readiness and handsets to provide a seamless customer experience.
Ookla uses Speedtest Intelligence data to see which world capitals have the best 5G speeds and availability, based on locations with commercially available 5G during Q1-Q2 2021.