Having announced the successful introduction of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) on its live network earlier this year, United Arab Emirates (UAE) telco Du has revealed that customers with Cat 6-supported smartphones and devices can now benefit from the higher speed broadband service ‘in several areas with high footfall traffic’. In July 2014 Du tested LTE-A with carrier aggregation (CA) over its commercial network with 300Mbps peak throughput by combining 800MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, and commercially launched LTE-A on 1 March 2015 for Cat 6 terminals. The operator has said that it will expand LTE-A network coverage in line with increasing demand for data services, and added that it expects to launch voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services on a commercial basis later this year.
‘The rollout of the 4G+ network is an important step on the road to 5G evolution. While we follow the technological evolution, concurrently we are evaluating the possible 5G features and technologies with our vendors, in line with the tentative timeline imposed by global standardisation bodies that 5G technology should be rolled out in 2020,’ commented Saleem Al Blooshi, Du’s executive vice president of Network Development and Operations, adding: ‘While there are not many Cat 6 supported devices on the market today, we anticipate both a market and user increase of these devices, hence the rollout of 4G+ is an important business strategy placing Du as one of the region’s pioneers with regards to its network capabilities.’