Ooredoo 230Limited customers, speed only occasionally reached. Qatar Airlines is the first to deploy for Ooredoo's > 1 gigabit service, now being offered to selected customers in selected locations. C114, one of China's best tech pubs, is my source for the 1.2 gig speeds, confirmed by four other news publications. That the world leadership has left the U.S. and Europe is a major story, even if the details may be slight puffery.

Over a year ago, I discovered that True in Thailand was one of the first in the world to deploy 4x4 MIMO across the country, matched in 2017 in many other networks. That's just starting to be matched in the U.S. and Europe. Five companies - Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE - are the source of almost all the 4G & 5G networks today. They sell the same gear in Qatar, Myanmar, Berlin, & Chicago. Except for Verizon and 5G mmWave - coming in 2018 - the Western telcos are no longer ahead.

The most advanced commercial wireless networks previously announced have been "up to 1 gigabit" using the Qualcomm 835 chip. It's capable of 1.2 gig in theory, I believe, but until now I haven't seen any announcement of actually reaching over 1 gig. Ooredoo is also working with Massive MIMO, which goes well over 1 gig in the lab. Again, I haven't seen that speed achieved in commercial deployment.  

Oreedoo is one of the most interesting companies in the industry. They are at 85% coverage in Myanmar, headed to 92%. 

I've sent a request for clarification on the technology to the company. 

(Note: Admiring network achievements, in Myanmar, China, Rwanda, or Trump's America, does not mean I endorse the government. Personally, I prefer countries to be as democratic as possible. I do believe Americans shouldn't be quick to criticize others, when we have "the best Congress money can buy.")

Here are the releases.

Ooredoo’s 5G Launch in Line with Qatar National Vision 2030 to Deliver World-Class Infrastructural Backbone

Ooredoo Launches 5G Service in Doha on Qatar National Day

19 / 12 / 2017 
Doha, Qatar
Ooredoo has today announced the launch of one of the first ‘5G Speed Experiences’ available anywhere in the world, in various areas of Doha, for a select number of VIP customers.

Ooredoo’s ‘5G Speed Experience’, which was launched in time for Qatar National Day, is available in select locations, and will offer an extremely high speed and low latency network with initial speeds of up to (and in some cases exceeding) 1Gbps.

This is the first time in the world that “5G Speeds” have been made available to consumer customers on a live network and using commercial smartphones.

Talking about the breakthrough, Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “We are proud to announce this major milestone near a day of celebration for our great country. This is a first-in-the-world landmark for Qatar, and demonstrates that the Ooredoo Supernet is one of the world’s leading networks. We will continue to work hard to provide Qatar with a world-class infrastructural backbone, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Access to Ooredoo’s ‘5G Speed Experience’ requires a special smartphone that has been calibrated to work with the Ooredoo pre-standardised 5G network and Supernet upgrades applied in the selected locations.

This is the latest in a long line of technological milestones for Ooredoo, as the company continues to work to be one of the first operators in the world to offer incredible 5G speeds for all its customers.

On Qatar National Day in 2016, Ooredoo completed trials for 5G speed and latency, achieving incredible speeds of up to 36 GB per second in their cutting-edge engineering hub - which made it at that time the fastest mobile data service in the world.

In May 2017, Ooredoo announced that 10 of its base stations had been equipped with 5G-ready technology, and the company plans to start offering the next-generation speeds to all consumers in 2018, when 5G-ready devices are released.

In November, Ooredoo successfully completed testing of 5G Commercial services in partnership with Qatar Airways, and later in the month successfully reached speeds in excess of 1Gbps using commercial devices.

Ooredoo is Qatar’s leading communications company and continues to enhance Qatar’s mobile, Wi-Fi, and nationwide Ooredoo Fibre networks on the Ooredoo Supernet.

Ooredoo Launches First in Region Network for Business

Ooredoo and Qatar Airways FIRST to Connect 5G Commercial Service

15 / 12 / 2017 
Doha, Qatar
Ooredoo has announced another breakthrough in network technology for Qatar - the ‘5G Commercial Service Experience’, which has been undergoing testing since early November,  has successfully completed the next phase of pre-standardised trials.

In the near future, 5G Commercial Services will utilise the latest network technology to offer much higher speeds, capacity, and better latency, than existing cellular systems. Ooredoo has been working with Qatar Airways to test elements of these services in preparation for the standardisation and launch of approved 5G technologies.

This phase of the 5G launch is a first in the region and demonstrates that the Ooredoo Supernet can operate in the 5G spectrum using advanced 5G technology such as Massive MIMO antennas. The Ooredoo Supernet was successfully upgraded at a secret location in Qatar with a host of pre-standardised 5G technology, so that commercial services could be tested and utilised by Qatar Airways.

Waleed Al Sayed, Ooredoo’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ooredoo 5G Commercial Services will see us enable more businesses to fulfil their digital potential. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this successful pre-standardised 5G connection for our business customers in Qatar and the impact this service can have on Qatar’s digital economy in the future.”

On top of a better, faster service, Ooredoo’s 5G Commercial Service will provide a connectivity solution via radio technology for corporate customers located in hard-to-reach remote areas as an alternative to high speed wired networks.

As part of its investment to ensure Qatar is one of the best-connected countries in the world, Ooredoo is thoroughly testing the latest 5G equipment, software, and spectrum requirements, leading-up to the standardisation of 5G technology.

“It is only by vigorously testing our 5G-ready technology that we can determine its readiness and capabilities. Thanks to our first 5G-connected corporate customer, Qatar Airways, we will be able to lay the groundwork to bring a truly next-generation mobile broadband experience to Qatar. We hope to roll-out this technology as soon as possible for all of our customers, so that everyone in Qatar can enjoy the internet even more and experience the full potential of the Ooredoo Supernet” added Waleed Al Sayed.

On top of vastly improved coverage, Ooredoo’s future 5G Commercial Services will enable Qatar’s businesses to offer the latest smart applications, such as driverless cars and smart roads, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and much more.

Ooredoo is Qatar’s leading communications company and continues to enhance Qatar’s mobile, Wi-Fi, and nationwide Ooredoo Fibre networks on the Ooredoo Supernet.
 

dave askAugust 2018 Verizon's $20B 5G build is starting to add customers in 2018. Gigabit LTE & Massive MIMO became real in 2017 and enow expanding worldwide. Almost all the other "5G" is mid-band, 70%-90% slower + hype. Europe is mostly pr. The term 5G has been bastardized, unfortunately.

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor. I always want to hear from you, especially if you catch a mistake.

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 5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.