Etisalat to Launch Third Generation Mobile Services
Emirate’s Telecommunications Corp. (Etisalat) will launch the third generation (3G) of mobile telecommunications services in the UAE by late 2003 or early 2004, thus becoming the first firm in the Middle East to do so, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The company currently employs a 2.5G-technology across its network.
“The investments in 3G come as part of a $2 billion spending plan over a three to four-year period that Etisalat has budgeted for new services and technology upgrades,” said Saleh Al Abdooli, quoted by the Gulf News.
Pilot tests for the transition to 3G will start by year-end and will be conducted across major cities, the official added.
The commercial launch scheduled for late 2003 will initially be confined to the cities and immediate environs, and will then be gradually rolled out into other areas, he added.
"Our commitment and launch schedule for 3G makes us among the first lot of telcoms in the world to do so. It's important that we make the investments, which are substantial, on 3G now. Otherwise, we run the risk of falling behind in the technology stakes," said Abdooli.
Recently, several European countries have pulled in huge amounts through the auction of 3G licenses, he said – Albawaba.com
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