Rob Joyce 720 indoor Qatar 230

"We intend to have the fastest 4G/5G network on the planet by next year," emails Sara Ibrahim Al Sayed, Senior Analyst, Investor Relations, Ooredoo. She added, "We currently have 100 MHz live at 3.5 GHz. The plan is to add another 100 MHz @ 3.5 GHz and 10 MHz @ 700 MHz next year but the exact timing is yet to be announced. In 2021 we will add a further 400-800MHz at 26 GHz. We already are one of the fastest 4G networks on the planet."

Using 200 MHz of mid-band spectrum would allow Ooredoo Qatar to offer higher speeds than almost all Europeans. No one in Europe is firmly committed to millimetre wave*, so Ooredoo will likely pull far ahead. The mmWave spectrum will bring Oreedoo speeds into the very top tier alongside Verizon.

The initial results are promising. Her colleague Rob Joyce tested 720 Mbps on a Mate 20 at Costa Coffee, one of the highest indoor results for 5G. (Pictured left.) I don't have much data on indoor mid-band speeds, but mmWave is clobbered by many walls and windows.

The competition around the Gulf is becoming fierce, with Zain, Etisalat, and Saudi Telecom also building 5G.

Qatar by StellarD via Wikipedia 230

All the companies have very strong technical staff that can design networks of quality. At Ooredoo, there is a mix of native and expat engineers. Guenther Ottendorfer, who managed much of the network at Sprint in the U.S., is one of the executives recently added.

Qatar has fewer than three million inhabitants, 80% of whom are expatriates. Oil and gas income yields one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, able to afford a world-class network. 

Ooredoo is a major multinational, with 164 million customers across 12 markets including Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, and Iraq.

*Fastweb announced they would use mmWave but may have backed off. It isn't answering my questions. Telefonica and others remain in test mode.

dave ask


Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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