Technology, UAE

UAE residents to get hands-on experience of 5G soon: Etisalat

UAE telecom provider Etisalat says its 5G network is fully ready in the UAE and consumers will be able to get hands-on experience when new 5G-enabled smartphones are rolled out in the market.

Khalifa Alshamsi, Group Chief Corporate Strategy and Governance Officer, Etisalat, was speaking at the 18th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF). The two-day conference is being held from March 27-28 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

“We are expecting new 5G-enabled devices by June. That’s when consumers will get to experience the real 5G. We have already fully deployed the network,” said Alshamsi.

He went on to highlight the advances in technology and how it has facilitated the growth of the media sector. The investments in 5G networks will play a significant role making a positive impact on the media. 5G has ‘unlimited capabilities’ with high speeds and ultra-low latency. Live feed news coverage for reporters in the field specifically for breaking news and multi-location interviews for the TV industry were cited as examples for the future of media on the 5G network.

“The evolution of mobile technology has also played a role in the way news is delivered.  Mobile started off with voice services and then came messaging. The third generation used the internet and with the 4G came speed. Last year, we saw advancements in 5G and we started testing it in May 2018,” said Alshamsi, adding that 5G will enable news and media organisations to instantly broadcast content – rich multimedia content, in real time.

Media organisations, he said, can also use tools such as drones and autonomous vehicles that are powered by 5G to facilitate better reporting.

“Let’s just look at new technology like augmented reality or virtual reality. It is just a matter of time before news content is customised with these technologies. In the past, the hologram was just science fiction. Now it is for real and is being tested. The hologram could also result in an entirely different experience in the presentation of news,” he said, adding that the wheels of advancement will not stop. This trend, according to him, will continue and media will evolve with new technology coming to the fore.

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