The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (“TRA”) announced the implementation of 5G in December 2017, a project launched to coincide with the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) vision 2021 objectives. Through this initiative, the TRA established a Steering Committee chaired by the TRA Director General with three sub-committees, each designed to include representatives of all stakeholders across the UAE (operators, manufacturers, academia and users).
In February 2019, Etisalat – UAE’s biggest telecom operator – announced its partnership with Chinese company Huawei in respect of the roll out of 300 5G towers across the UAE.
In May 2019, Etisalat became the first service provider in the region to announce the availability of its 5G network, supporting smartphones for commercial use. It was soon followed by UAE’s second operator Du Telecom.
In October 2019 the UAE was declared as the first in the Arab region and fourth globally to roll-out and use 5G based on a study compiled by London-headquartered Carphone Warehouse. Countries were ranked on the basis of 5G connectivity levels and were selected if they had one or more 5G deployments and 5G connectivity in the pre-release stage.