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Du to launch higher speed 4G broadband services

Dubai: Word from du that it will launch higher-speed 4G broadband services by year's end will help ensure the United Arab Emirates remains at the forefront of emerging new technology, says global marketing intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Hassan Sandila, telecoms analyst for IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said du's confirmation — combined with news last week that etisalat is also gearing up for a 2011 upgrade to fourth-generation broadband services — will provide any time, anywhere mobile online services.

Fourth generation broadband is designed to carry more video and data on a higher bandwidth compared to 3G networks that are designed primarily for voice data.


"At the moment, 4G networks might not make strong business viability for the operators in the Middle East. However, IDC believes that deploying these networks would not only enhance the operator's broadband offerings but also future-proof their networks," Sandila told Gulf News.

New "4G technologies are expected to benefit the overall telecom industry, especially the operators by providing cost effective wireless network solutions for data services.

The future stream of telecom revenues is highly dependent on data intensive applications and services. With the increase in data usage, operators will be deploying networks with higher bandwidth and speed," Sandila said.

Tuesday, du said it has just completed field trials in April dubbed Long Term Evolution (LTE), 4G technology capable of broadcasting broadband at more than three times the speed (up to 150 Mbps for downloading) than existing 42 Mbps mobile services.

Fareed Faraidooni, du's chief commercial officer, said that the company is working to bring faster services to its customers. The company now commands more than 40 per cent of a market that enjoys 11 million mobile phone subscriptions in the UAE.

"Mobile broadband is increasingly gaining traction and we are proud to be one of the early operators in the world to begin trials of LTE — arguably one of the most cutting-edge telecom technologies, also referred to as 4G," Faraidooni said in a statement. "At du, we are constantly exploring new opportunities and pushing the boundaries, so that our customers benefit from some of the most innovative services available in the world."

Faster 4G

In an update last week to its Evolution to LTE report, Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported that that 17 telecom operators have launched their new 4G upgrades around the globe. Hatem Bamatraf, du senior vice-president, Network Development, said the hunt by du is now on for the most suitable technological partners to make the upgrade from 3G to 4G as painless as possible.

Sandila said the move makes good business sense given the popularity of mobile phones in the UAE.

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