Etisalat launches LTE network in UAE

26 September 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Etisalat has claimed to be one of the first operators in the UAE to launch LTE-FDD services, serving over 700 base stations and offering speeds exceeding 100Mbps.

Heralding the UAE as “one the first countries in the world to launch 4G”, Etisalat attributes the latest advancement in its network to significant investment made by its board in developing the regions’s ICT capabilities. The company declared its plans to have 1000 fully operational base stations by the end of the year, and follows the announcement in April this year that it had deployed fibre across the whole of Abu Dhabi.

“This infrastructure investment is long term and it aims to enhance the country’s position globally, while supporting sustainable development,” said Nasser Bin Obood, acting CEO at Etisalat. “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.”

With the smartphone market growing at over 90% a year in the region, Etisalat reiterated its commitment to advancing the technology, and replace 3G networks that it launched in the region back in 2003 – which provided customers with speeds reaching up to 42Mbps. It is expected the deployment of this technology in the region will increase the take up of high definition TV services, fixed landline and investment in the vertical sectors.

“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," said Matthew Wilsher, chief marketing officer at Etisalat. "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,”