The United Arab Emirates is likely to become the first Middle Eastern country to provide third generation (3G) mobile services, when its state-owned Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) launches the service, reportedly in late 2003 or early 2004.
3G mobile phone networks allow data to be moved at a significantly higher speed and capacity. They can thus support several advanced applications such as personal video conferencing, video mail, on-line video games and transmission of photographs.
Pilot testing for the transition from 2.5G-technology to 3G will start at the end of 2001 and will operate on a trial basis in a number of major cities. The commercial launch of 3G services is expected to remain confined to the major urban areas in its initial phases. — (MENA Report)
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