UAE to have second 4G network by year end
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 09-10-2011
UAE telecommunications operator Du is expected to unveil its long term evolution (LTE) mobile network at the end of 2011, just three months after that of its competitor, Etisalat.
Both fourth generation (4G) networks, which will be able to deliver high speed data downloads including high definition (HD) broadband and mobile TV services, will be some of the most advanced in the world.
Hatem Bamatraf, senior vice president for network development, Du, told Reuters that the LTE network will be launched: "Hopefully before the end of the year. It's around a December time frame."
Fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country Bahrain, meanwhile, may experience a competitive disadvantage to its neighbours because its regulator has not yet allocated spectrum for 4G networks, according to its state owned telco Batelco.
"We are losing the competitive edge here," Abdulhamid Chehab, Batelco's general manager for mobile networks told reporters at a conference in Dubai. "We are addressing the subject seriously to the regulator, but we are not getting a firm response when and which spectrum will be taken."
Saudi Arabia already has its first LTE network, operated by Mobily; while Qtel recently announced plans to develop an LTE service for Qatar.