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Etisalat announced that it has begun the final phase of trials on the advanced Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, in order to commercially launch the service in the third quarter of this year.
The launch of LTE services will position the country amongst the world's first in introducing this groundbreaking technology. The use of mobile devices with LTE services will not come until early 2012 as Etisalat is waiting for compatible devices from manufacturers.
Ali Al Ahmed, Chief Corporate Communication Officer at Etisalat, said in a speech that Etisalat was a pioneer in deploying world-class technologies to meet the needs of its customers. The first phase will cover all key Emirates in the UAE through 800 base stations.
Al Ahmed added that by the end of the year over 80 per cent of the UAE will be covered by 4G network coverage.
Al Ahmed emphasised Etisalat's long-term investment strategy to continue providing the UAE with competitive advantage on a global level and propelling the nation's ICT sector, making it one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.
Furthermore, Al Ahmed highlighted the role of these investments which will pave the way to a new era of communications.
Etisalat has recently completed the fiber-optic network deployment covering the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the first capital city in the world to be fully covered by such an advanced network, along with launch of LTE technology that will enhance the economic and social development of the UAE.
LTE is one of the latest innovations in mobile broadband technologies in the world, with a peak downloading speed of up to 150MBps. LTE is a natural evolution from earlier generations of mobile broadband that will deliver users the benefits of faster data speeds and new services.
During the last quarter of 2010, Etisalat made the latest upgrade with the introduction of high-speed HSPA+ technology that delivers customers data downlink speeds of up to 42.2 Mbps.
Ali Al Ahmed concluded: "LTE, the fourth generation mobile technology, has been implemented by Etisalat in the age of the popularity of smartphones and tablet devices to meet customers' ever-increasing demand for richer services and connected lifestyles. Etisalat's 4G services will bring significant benefits and opportunities to customers and businesses alike with higher throughput and efficiency. In addition, it will bring limitless broadband access to customers anytime, anywhere."