Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 27-09-2011

Etisalat has launched its long term evolution (LTE) 4G mobile network across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), presenting great opportunities for mobile high definition television (HDTV) with data download speeds in excess of 100MB/s.

High definition (HD) movies, social networking, online multiplayer games and other bandwidth-intensive applications were highlighted as beneficiaries of the new LTE network, which was initiated on 27 September.

"In recent times, there has been a tremendous surge in both subscriber numbers and data usage," said Matthew Willsher, chief marketing officer, Etisalat. "Smartphones are growing at almost 90% a year. A whole new computing platform for mobile broadband has emerged, creating a thriving market for mobile apps - and changing the way we interact with the Internet.

"LTE technology will deliver customers the dual benefits of super fast data speeds and much lower latency. It is a transformational force that will improve the digital lifestyles of our customers," he added.

Etisalat's acting chief executive Nasser Bin Obood said the company plans to have up to 1,000 fully operational base stations by the end of this year, in what he claims is the widest 4G LTE-FDD network in the Middle East.

"Advanced telecommunications are a key basis for a developed society, and this 4G network can contribute to developing various sectors including education, finance, healthcare as well as the economic and business sectors, the latter of which will be a direct beneficiary of 4G," said Bin Obood.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi, where Etisalat is headquartered, recently became the first capital city to be entirely connected with optical fibre.