Abu Dhabi 5G map

The green areas on the map show 5G availability in central parts of Abu Dhabi. The company has a similar map showing good coverage in Dubai. The National reports Etisalat is rapidly putting up 1,000 base stations. Those should be able to serve most of the 9.4 million population, concentrated in a handful of densely packed cities. 

You do not buy a 5G service, just a phone. Your 4G plan will automatically connect to a 5G tower when in range. Service plans start from about US$50/month. The available phones are from XTE, Oppo, and Huawei, all costing over US$1,000. 

Etisalat is using mid-band, 3.5 GHz spectrum. Users can expect speeds of 100-500 megabits down, although the company has circulated a limited test at over a gigabit. 

The National also reports that Du, Zain, and Saudi Arabian Telecom are also close to turning on 5G networks. In one week last fall, press releases went out that three of these companies had "deployed" 5G. Close examination discovered that the "deployments" were really trials from a handful of locations. 

The maps now available show significant coverage. 

dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


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. daveb@dslprime.com

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