The Middle East telco also announced its first customer in the 5G segment
Vodafone Qatar has announced the activation of its 5G network in the country, which would enable a wide range of new applications including remote healthcare and driverless cars, the telco said in a statement.
“Today we have laid down a very clear marker in shaping our country’s future. This transformative technology has the potential to touch all walks of life, improving it for each and every one of us. Qatar is focused on the future, and we are fast becoming one of the most digitally connected countries on the planet. There’s no business better placed to move further or faster in delivering this,” Vodafone Qatar’s CEO Sheikh Hamad Abdulla Jassim Al Thani, said.
Following the 5G launch, the company announced the connection of its first enterprise customer –Gulf Bridge International — to its 5G network in Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Diego Camberos, COO at Vodafone Qatar, presented 5G customer premise equipment to GBI’s management that will provide GBI with broadband access at speeds that exceed 1 Gbps.
Vodafone also said that 5G connectivity using the CPE, which is manufactured on a very limited scale worldwide, is available where Vodafone Qatar’s 5G network is deployed.
“We’re delighted that GBI is the first company to be trialling our 5G network. GBI is one of our most important partners that has been providing us with international connectivity for many years, so to play a part in further enhancing their operations through our 5G network is something we’re very proud of,” Camberos said.
In May, Middle East telecom group Ooredoo announced the launch of what it claimed to be first the world’s first live 5G network on the 3.5 GHz spectrum band.
In an initial phase, Ooredoo said its 5G Supernet deployment would cover an area from The Pearl Qatar to Hamad International Airport, with Lagoona, Katara Cultural Village, West Bay, the Corniche and Souq Waqif also included in the initial commercial launch coverage area. The company has previously said that it will continue its 5G rollout and that the rollout will support smart cities and smart stadium projects in Qatar.
In December 2017, Ooredoo Qatar launched a 5G service experience for selected customers in the capital city of Doha. The 5G service allowed customers to have access to a high-speed, low-latency network with initial speeds of up to 1Gbps.
In January, the Qatari Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) detailed plans to allocate 5G spectrum for operator tests in a move to enable commercial launches in late 2018 or early 2019.
The regulator said it will assign the country’s only two mobile operators, Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo, bandwidth in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands for pilots using pre-standard 5G technology.