UAE operator etisalat by e& has announced a 5G standalone (SA) deployment and a 5G downlink speed record.
After its successful 5G SA fixed wireless access (FWA) service launch at the start of 2023, the operator has announced the commercial deployment and service readiness of 5G SA for mobile users as well.
Previously etisalat by e& customers were using a 5G radio access network on an existing 4G LTE network. The switch to a complete SA 5G network will, it is claimed, provide access to higher uplink speeds, improved device battery life, faster connectivity to the network and new applications, including rich voice over new radio (VoNR) and video over new radio (ViNR). Lower latency gaming, enhanced AR/VR applications, IoT and network slicing are other benefits cited by the operator.
Etisalat by e& has also achieved what is claimed to be the world’s fastest 5G downlink speed of more than 13 Gbps.
This was achieved in partnership with Ericsson, with the first node implementation (FNI) in etisalat by e&’s commercial network. This is based on Ericsson’s 5G standalone (SA) access network solutions that use a combination of New Radio Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) and carrier aggregation (CA) software features to aggregate nine carriers’ components from mid-band and millimetre wave (mmWave) with a total bandwidth of 900MHz.
This impressive level of high data speeds will, say the partners, help meet the increased demand for high-quality connectivity while, as with 5G SA, also facilitating exciting use cases – from cloud gaming with augmented and virtual reality experiences to FWA, advanced video streaming, industrial IoT, and smart factories.
According to Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology & Information Officer at etisalat by e&, the company is currently considering deploying this site model in areas with increased 5G capacity demands, including stadiums, sports and event venues, and metro stations.