While the speculations were rife for the 5G launch in 2018, Qatar launched the World’s first commercial 5G network. Earlier, we posted a news regarding China being ahead in the 5G race. Ooredoo, telecommunication company announces the launch of 5G network in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. It makes Qater as the first country to launch 5G commercial network. While giving the title to Ooredoo as the first operator in the world to have live 5G network. The spectrum band for the Ooredoo first 5G NR network is 3.5 GHz. Lionel Messi is also involved in the 5G launch.
Ooredoo CEO announces the 5G breakthrough in an event at the Ooredoo Tower in west bay. Ooredoo has been aggressively performing 5G trials from 2016. They were already leading for the deployment of 5G in cases like:
first-in-the-region trials of 5G on Qatar National Day in 2016
completion of 10 5G-ready base stations in May 2017
5G Business services trial in partnership with Qatar Airways in November 2017.
They have partnered with ZTE to develop standard compliant 5G hardware before. But it is still not clear which vendor have provided the equipment for the 5G network.
Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said:
“Today, Ooredoo and Qatar make history. We are the first company in the world to offer access to 5G technology and services, and the people of Qatar are the first to have access to the incredible benefits this technological upgrade will bring. We dedicate this important milestone to the people of Qatar and to our beloved leaders, who have encouraged this step in building the knowledge-based economy of Qatar.”
In the event, they announced the deployment of first stage 5G Supernet in the area from Pearl Qatar to Hamad International Airport. The Ooredoo 5G commercial service covers popular destinations like Lagoona, Katara Cultural Village, West Bay, the Corniche and Souq Waqif.
Having launched the 5G network, general customers can be able to use the 5G network with a compatible 5G CPE (customer premises equipment). Ooredoo is going to make the CPE available very soon so that people can experience the 5G network. There were speed test results of more than 1 Gbps for the 5G experience before. But now they only say, the 5G NR network offers higher speeds, capacity, and better latency, than existing cellular systems.
According to the CEO, the 5G Supernet will be the infrastructural backbone of Qatar as our nation pushes to offer the latest smart applications in-line with Qatar National Vision 2030. This network will provide the necessary foundation to introduce a wave of new innovations. Which includes driverless cars and smart roads, virtual and augmented reality, a national fleet of service drones, and much more.
Ooredoo is an international telecommunication company operating in Middle East, North Africa and SEA. It has more than 160 million customers and 68 percent owned by State of Qatar. With the latest 5G breakthrough, Ooredoo promises further coverage of 5G in more areas of Qatar in coming months.