The United Arab Emirate’s telecommunications regulator, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), recently announced the completion of the second phase of its 5G Advanced trials. This milestone demonstrates a groundbreaking change in data transfer speed, not only for the region but also on a global scale. Teaming up with regional operators e& and du, the trial exploited the 400 MHz bandwidth of the 6 GHz band, striking a record-breaking speed of 10 Gbps.
Such an acceleration in data transfer speed has broad implications and myriad uses, notably in relation to the Internet of Things (IoT), smart city initiatives, and the development of the metaverse. The next-generation projects that could find support in this manifest improvement in speed encompass fields as diverse as nanotechnology, remote healthcare diagnostics, autonomous transportation, and industrial installations’ governance.
Through a statement, H.E. Majed Sultan al-Mesmar, TDRA’s Director-General, conveyed his excitement about this recorded achievement and future prospects, “In this trial, we have used cutting-edge technology, through which we were able to make the most out of 5G, and we aspire through the results we have achieved to make a qualitative leap…”
He continued to say that the new speed record will invite a swift data transfer era, propelling advancements in high-quality streaming, seamless cloud services, and enhance the IoT by ensuring steady and efficient connectivity needed to handle multiple devices simultaneously.
Yet, as exciting as major technological milestones like this one might be, the industry often exhibits a certain ambiguity towards them. Several of the benefits advertised around these developments, such as smart city functionality, metaverse applications, and autonomous driving, were also projected for the original rollout of 5G. The challenge as the technology progresses from trials is to ensure these advancements feel genuinely new and improved, not just repeated promises from the early days of 5G, especially to the marketing departments entrusted to promote the benefits.
Nevertheless, the completion of the 5G Advanced trials in the UAE represents a seismic shift in telecommunication possibilities, promising to accelerate digital transformation and extend the horizons of innovation.