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Etisalat launches the UAE’s first commercial LTE network


After prolonged trials Etisalat has commercially launched LTE services in the UAE

Etisalat, the largest carrier in the UAE, has launched a commercial LTE network in the country. The service will offer customers mobile LTE-based broadband using E398-LTE USB modems, which it said were available immediately from Etisalat Business Centres and other outlets.  The USB dongles can be picked up free on contracts by signing up to Etisalat’s MyDataPlan ‘Ultra’ pack on a six-month or 12-month contract with a 20GB data allowance. The dongles can also be purchased contract free for AED799 ($ 218).

Matthew Willsher, chief marketing officer for Etisalat said in a statement that, “We are very excited about introducing the first real 4G (LTE) experience to our customers in the UAE. The launch of the service and USB modems follows user trials that showed exceptionally satisfying performance. In coming months, our customers can expect a range of LTE compatible data-centric wireless routers and tablets, and 4G enabled phones, as and when they are available in the market.”

Etisalat has deployed 1000 base stations in the UAE and cover 70 per cent of the population and Willsher said that it is aiming to cover the population of the whole country. The network used FDD spectrum and outside of LTE coverage Etisalat said devices would automatically fall back to its HSPA+ service to maintain a high quality of service.

Back in October Etisalat took the technology initiative in the country by introducing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to Blackberry Bold 9900 devices, enabling purchases us to $ 50 to be made with the phone at MasterCard purchase points.

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