The education and healthcare sectors have benefited most from the reliability of network infrastructure during the Covid-19 lockout and are maximizing their value, said the EITC CTO.
Saleem Al Blooshi, chief technology officer at EITC, du's parent company, told Gitex Global's virtual seminar that du has seen a 40% increase in fixed and mobile traffic and a sudden transition from hotspots and normal business sectors to residential areas in April and May compared to January.
“Distance learning and distance work have increased. Covid-19 and locking have proven the capabilities and reliability of telecommunications operators to enable digital transformation.
“We [telecom operators] are at the heart of digital transformation and we generally have a model of increasing demand in a year like New Year, Eid Al Fitr and Edi Al Adha and we plan it accordingly with our partners, but for the pandemic, we have not had a similar and we did not know who our customers will be, ”he said.
Al Blooshi said du was working with partners such as Nokia, Huawei and Cisco and was able to cope with the sudden change and increased traffic.
In addition, the Dubai-based telecommunications operator is celebrating its first anniversary of the commercial launch of 5G in the United Arab Emirates on May 7.
With the non-autonomous deployment (NSA) of 5G, he said that only bandwidth is available in the country and “we were able to evolve our network and our application layer for streaming traffic like Netflix and tools of video communication ”.
The NSA means the transfer of 5G on the existing 4G infrastructure while autonomy (SA) means the spread of 5G on the dedicated spectrum and infrastructure.
“The current standard for 5G is the NSA and focuses only on speed. Standard and complete equipment for SA with IoT capabilities is expected by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, ”he said.
GSMA adjusts forecast for this year
Telecommunications operators in the UAE now offer speeds of 1 GHz with non-autonomous network infrastructure (NSA), but the next step in the du is the speed of 10 GHz with the deployment of millimeter waves[26GHz-84Ghz] and reach a millisecond but it is not possible with the current C band [3.4GHz-3.8GHz] spectrum.
Because the network is NSA, the latency currently offered in the 5G space is the same as that of 4G, ie 15-25 milliseconds.
“We are continuing our investment in 5G despite the low adoption of smartphones but by the end of the year, we expect to see handset manufacturers launch more devices. The foreclosure will change a lot of situations for operators as well as for society, ”he said.
Jawad Abbassi, head of the Middle East and North Africa region at GSMA, a trade organization representing the interests of mobile operators around the world, said they had adjusted their short-term global forecasts to keep up takes into account the effects of Covid-19 and reduces its 5G cellular connections for 2020 by 24%.
“By the end of 2021, we expect most markets to be within 2% of our original estimate. We anticipate longer-term reductions in a number of key markets, including Italy (12%), France (10%), Spain (8%) and China (5%) by 2025 “, did he declare.
The GSMA forecasts 1.7 b 5G of cellular connections by 2025, which represents 19% of global connections.
He said the Asia-Pacific region would see the largest share of these connections with 63.9%, followed by Europe with 13.3% and North America with 12.4% while Mena will have 47m of 5G connections, which represents 6% of the total connections.
The GSMA said that 10 operators in eight markets launched 5G services in the first quarter of this year, bringing the total number of connections from 5G operators to 62 in 31 markets.