Etisalat signs ‘strategic deal’ with Ericsson to reach its 5G plan

Services provider companies like Ericsson seek to reach the 2020 vision of having a 5G full coverage

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Emirati telecoms service provider Etisalat signed this week a “strategic deal” with the Swedish company Ericsson to reach its planned 5G coverage by 2020.

“Today we have signed a strategic agreement with Ericson ... to develop 5G services,” Etisalat’s Chief Technology Officer Hatem Mohammad Bamatraf told Al Arabiya News during the signing ceremony held at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Currently, advanced markets have 4G with communication technologies and services provider companies like Ericsson attempting to reach the 2020 vision of having a 5G full coverage.

“5G is a new technology. We look forward to proactively participate in it,” Bamatraf said.

“For this technology, there is a plan for it to be operational in 2020, which means five years from today. But‎ we believe in Etisalat that we should be one of the first people to employ 5G and be ready for the future,” he added.

Bamatraf said Etisalat was the first Arab company to sign a deal leading to 5G.‎

He also said the deal was also “part of a plan we put forth called ‘Network 2020’ where we put so many transformation enablers that we have to do and 5G is one part of it.”

He said the bigger plan included a fully functioning Smart City, virtualization and cloud computing.

Ericsson has an estimated 40 percent share of the world’s mobile market, with around 54 million subscribers.

Etisalat is the 12th largest mobile network operator in the world, with a total customer base of more than 150 million.

Ericsson and Etisalat are among several technology firms participating in this year’s Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest telecoms trade fair.

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