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Du eyeing launch of LTE next month

11 Jun 2012

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), the United Arab Emirates’ second national telecoms operator, plans to launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network next month. In an interview with Gulf News, Du’s chief commercial officer Farid Faraidooni said that deployment of the 4G network was completed in December 2011, but the company has had to wait for the availability of 1800MHz-compatible LTE consumer devices. Du’s LTE service will initially provide consumers with maximum download speeds of up to 100Mbps; the network is able to support data rates of up to 150Mbps, although devices enabling such speeds are not yet available on the market. At launch, services will cover 27.8% of the UAE population. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Etisalat – Du’s only rival in the UAE market – unveiled its Long Term Evolution-Frequency Division Duplex (LTE-FDD) mobile broadband network in September 2011 and went on to launch commercial services the following December. The 4G network, which is integrated with Etisalat’s fibre-optic infrastructure, comprised over 700 base stations at launch, and was available in around 70% of the UAE’s urban areas.

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