Etisalat has completed the first end-to-end 5G Stand-alone call in the region and is the first operator in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to accomplish the milestone.
Stand-alone 5G does not utilize 4G LTE for any control functions of 5G, unlike non-stand-alone (NSA) 5G. The major benefits of stand-alone 5G will be in the enterprise arena as lower latencies can be reached and network slicing is possible.
The Senior Vice-President, Mobile Network at Etisalat, Saeed Al-Zarouni, said: “This achievement has positioned UAE on a global platform, giving us an opportunity to share our experience and set an example for other operators in the region. The launch of 5G stand-alone will enable the application of 5G use cases across industry verticals optimizing the capabilities of the network. This will also enable provisioning of the 5G network for automated and AI based technologies.”
Etisalat was the first telco in MENA in May 2018 to roll out the commercial 5G network offering fixed wireless service in the UAE. Etisalat is considered to be the first telco in MENA to provide indoor 5G coverage in selected buildings in the country.