Ooredoo Qatar is progressing its 5G New Radio (NR) 3.5GHz live mobile network rollout which it began last month, switching on its second 5G NR (Non Standalone) standard base station this week – at Katara Cultural Village in Doha – and demonstrating a data speed of 2.51Gbps. As reported by Gulf Times, at the demo event this week the operator announced that it is ‘pushing forward with [the] rollout plan, making 5G a reality to our customers’, although no commercial data devices or handsets have yet been announced as available for usage on the fledgling network.
The company has stated that it will rapidly roll out the network across an initial 100 base stations in Doha within three months ‘so that consumers and businesses across Qatar can instantly benefit as soon as compatible devices are made available’. In the case of handsets, Ooredoo does not expect commercial 5G smartphones to be available on its network until June 2019, based on the current information on schedules from major manufacturers. However, Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed Mohamed al-Sayed told Gulf Times in mid-May that ‘within a month’ it will be able to provide a Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) terminal device that supports 5G, providing customers with an in-premises Wi-Fi connection with wireless data speeds of up to 1Gbps.